JEFFERSON, La. -- Sixteen out of 310,000 votes cast on Nov. 6 decided the election that keeps the tolls on the Crescent City Connection for another 20 years. The tolls were supposed to roll off the bridge at the end of the year.
Now, two citizens groups that lobbied against the extension are asking local leaders, including the Jefferson Parish president and parish council members, to demand a recount. "What we're calling for is for the elected officials here to stand up and do the right thing," said Wade Perrin, chairman of the Voters League of Unincorporated West Jefferson. "When you're counting, hand counting ballots, it seems like when you're counting thousands, isn't it possible that somebody may have missed something?"
"I am requesting that the Jefferson Parish Council file litigation contesting the results of the CCCD referendum," said Mike Teachworth, director of Stop The Tolls.
The toll referendum failed in both Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes, but it passed in Orleans Parish by a wide enough margin to carry the election.
"The turnover in the vote happened in Orleans Parish, which is where it seems we have the questions on how the votes were counted and all," said Perrin.
Jefferson Parish President John Young opposed the toll extension, but Tuesday said he has no plans to ask anybody for a recount.
"I'm still opposed to the renewal of the tolls," said Young. "I think it's an unfair and unnecessary tax, but having said that, I respect the democratic process. The voters have spoken."
But, Young encourages election officials to take another look at the race results.
"Just to make sure all the "I's" were dotted and "T's" were crossed but at this point I'm not going to advocate spending any Jefferson Parish money on challenging the election results."
"We just want to know that everything was done on the up and up and fair," said Perrin. "If that can be confirmed, then we move on."
According to a spokesperson for Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler, voters would have to file a lawsuit to force a recount in an election.
She said so far no such lawsuit has been filed in the CCC toll referendum.
Such a suit would have to be filed within 30 days of the vote being certified.