That LaToya Cantrell Recall Effort Is Just About Across The Finish Line

Only about 1,000 signatures shy of the number, with a week still left to go. That’s a bit better than we expected to see out of the recall effort – other than in tiny rural areas, you just don’t get successful recalls, but apparently LaToya Cantrell makes things different.

As the petition drive to trigger a recall election for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell enters its final week, organizers appear intent on inspiring as many 11th-hour signees as possible, a Fox 8 political analyst said Tuesday (Feb. 14).

Organizers of the recall effort said in a Monday night social media post that they were only 1,029 signatures away from the petition’s goal of just under 50,000 signees.

The group last week settled a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans Advocate/ reporter by agreeing to provide names and addresses of petition signees to fulfill a public records request next Wednesday (Feb. 22), the same day the petition must be submitted to the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters for signature verification.

“I think there was some chilling effect,” Fox 8 political analyst and Dillard University public policy professor Dr. Robert Collins said. “And that’s why I think the recall organizers released the number that they were this close, so that people know, ‘OK, you’re not going to do this in vain if you put your name on this petition. We are going to be successful.’

“I think that they feel confident that they’re going to make it, but they wanted to put this number out to let anyone know that’s on the fence, ‘We’re close, we need you to go ahead and sign the petition, send your mailer back in.’ So, I think they’re feeling very confident.”

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website, all signatures must be handwritten and witnessed, and for the petition to succeed it must be signed by at least 20 percent of the eligible, active registered voters of Orleans Parish.

The Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters will have 20 working days to certify the signatures submitted next week, and not all will prove valid or qualified, Collins said.

“I think there’s a very high probability that 1,000, maybe 2,000, of the signatures are going to be invalidated and decertified,” he said. “So, they have to have a fairly large cushion. I would say they probably need a cushion of at least 3,000 signatures.”

If the St. George incorporation petition effort is any barometer of how this will go, Collins is probably undershooting the margin the NOLAToya recall effort is going to need. We can see this one getting over the finish line and then having just enough signatures thrown out to move the total accepted just under the 49,000 and change needed to trigger the recall.


Of course, the way to avoid that heartbreak is for eight or ten thousand people to go and sign the recall petition so that it can’t be defeated at the registrar.

We’ll see how it goes. But it’s encouraging that they’ve made it this far.



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