New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell Claims Black Voter Disenfranchisement as Recall Threshold Lowered for Signatures Needed to Oust Her
NEW ORLEANS, La. (KPEL News) - The "No LaToya" group made headlines when they announced that organizers had attained the signatures needed to recall New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
Now, residents of New Orleans and political pundits across Louisiana wait for the signatures to be verified by the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters, which must be done by March 22nd. And for those wanting to oust Cantrell, there is welcome news: the threshold of signatures needed to recall her has been lowered. After determining there are about 25,000 inactive voters on the Orleans Parish voter rolls, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin reached an agreement with the NoLaToya campaign to determine the number of verified signatures needed is now just under 45,000 instead of over 49,000.
I have a responsibility to the people of Louisiana and the people of Orleans and I had to have a logical way to get to a number and I think we did that," said Ardoin to our news partners at Louisiana Radio Network. "There is no one being affected in terms of their current status. This is just for the number for the recall. Until my staff does a deep dive and we issue a public report, no one is going to be changed.
Meanwhile, Mayor Cantrell is leading the efforts to question the recall effort and made some heavy charges against it. She commented about it at her weekly press conference, as reported by WWLTV.
It’s evident that this recall is just not about me. It is about disenfranchisement of our voters, particularly Black voters in this community.
According to WWLTV, they filed a public records request with the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters Office to inspect the records but says they were denied by Sandra Wilson with the Office.
Unfortunately you can’t it’s still a work in progress. Right now we’re inundated with early voting and other activities and certifying this, and we would not be able to do this at this time.
What's Next if the Needed Signatures are Verified?
If the Registrar can verify the needed number of signatures then Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards can schedule the recall.
The No LaToya group takes you through the recall process after the signatures are certified:
Petition to Governor
The petition is forwarded to the governor. The governor issues an election proclamation within 15 days of receipt of the petition.
The recall goes to vote (primary election). If the recall passes, the mayor is recalled and the office is vacated.
Because Cantrell's unexpired term exceeds one year, council members will vote to appoint one of the two council-members-at-large to be acting Mayor during the period from the occurrence of the vacancy until a new mayor is elected and assumes office.
A special election will be held and a new mayor will be voted into office. The recalled official cannot be a candidate in the special election to fill the vacancy. In other words, LaToya Cantrell cannot run again.
The recall election, if needed, would happen in October.