Fate of Home Rule Charter back in hands of voters

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — It appears voters in Lafayette Parish are headed back to the polls once again.

The Secretary of State’s Office was made aware of several errors in the Home Rule Charter Amendment voters approved in December, deconsolidating City-Parish government.
“I’m going to say it’s between 15 and 20 mistakes along those lines that need to be corrected,” said Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux.
Following the elction, the Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters started noticing errors in the Amendment, and those errors could force a brand new election.
“What I’ve learned is that there’s a swath of voters that have no representation if things move forward as is, which creates a constitutional dilema,” said Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.
For example:
– Precincts were not in the correct district.
– The maps had errors.
– The he language of the Amendment had errors as well.
“Was it a surprise? Absolutely. But like are we going to problem solve, absolutely,” said Carlee Alm-Labar, President of the Fix the Charter.
She the group is in the process of researching the errors, even though she states voters have already made their decision.
“I think the overriding thing for us is that on December 8th, people had an opportunity to vote, and 53% of the voters indicated the proposal on the ballot was something they wanted for the future of our Parish,” said Alm-Labar.
But while the group and other council members are hopeful the issues could be fixed with a ‘cleanup ordinance,’ the Secretary of State doesn’t believe it’s possible.
“That is not the soul fix to this process. Because the people approved it and because the council put it in the city charter, now the city charter has to be amended by a ratification vote of the people,” said Sec. Ardoin.
So what’s next?
– Ardoin says he will host a meeting with the Mayor-President, Chairman of the City-Parish Council, the Registrar of Voters and the Attorney General Monday morning on the subject.
– A resolution by the council calling for the election would have to be made by March 11.
– The vote by the council would then take place in May.
– The election would proceed in the Fall.
According to the Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters, holding a new eleciton could cost taxpayers roughly $100,000.

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