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Cantrell recall falls short by thousands of signatures, Governor says

The Governor said today that the recall only had 27,000 valid signatures.

NEW ORLEANS — The effort to recall New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has failed, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The Governor said today that the recall only had 27,243 valid signatures, well short of the nearly 45,000 names needed to force a referendum on Mayor Cantrell.

According to the Gov. Edwards, the recall petition contained 67,022 handwritten signatures, but only 27,243 of them were valid signatures from qualified electors.

“I won’t be calling an election,”  Edwards said. “The threshold was not satisfied.”  

According to the data released by the Governor's office, 34,625 signatures were submitted by the deadline. Of those, 7,411 were rejected.

Another 32,421 supplemental signatures were submitted in the next five days, but nearly all of those were rejected. Only 24 supplemental signatures were approved.

Under Louisiana law, it’s very difficult to recall an elected official. Gov. Edwards said, it should be. 

“If you had an election that was resolved by just a few hundred votes, you don’t want someone to go out there just as soon as that person takes office and start a recall and be able to recall someone with a really low threshold.” 

Mayor Cantrell released a statement after the recall was shot down, saying that she has been, and remains, focused on the "real pressing issues" facing New Orleans.

"Now, with the divisiveness of the failed recall campaign officially behind us, we must heal and recommit ourselves to working collaboratively to continue the progress we’ve made towards reducing crime, increasing public safety, building a more sustainable and resilient city and creating economic and job opportunities that benefit all of our people," she said.

Records give some insight into the rejected signatures. Out of the supplemental signatures, nearly 5,000 of them were duplicates and another almost 900 were from out-of-parish voters. Just over 26,000 of them were rejected because of "other" reasons, which cover a broad range of issues including:

  • Signature dated before the deadline
  • Signature dated after the deadline
  • Title Page Mislabeled
  • Erroneous Information
  • Profanity
  • Not in keeping with guidelines
  • No Data
  • Document not original
  • Unable to verify petitioner intent
  • Blank

NOLATOYA.org co-founder Eileen Carter previously said that the organization had secured more than 49,000 signatures on its petition for a recall election.

The campaign filed a lawsuit against the Orleans Parish Registrar claiming that more than 30,000 voters listed voters in the parish have either moved out of the state or to another parish within the state.

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