REPORT: Judge who approved lower number for Cantrell recall threshold signed petition

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 4:42 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 9:37 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Orleans Parish Judge who signed off on an agreement to lower the threshold of signatures needed to trigger a recall election of Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed the petition and did not disclose it, according to The Times-Picayune.

Judge Jennifer Medley last week okayed a deal between the Secretary of State and recall organizers to lower the number of signatures needed by 5,000 names.

The newspaper, so far the only media outlet in New Orleans that has been provided the list of signatures by recall organizers, says those records show Medley signed the petition on Dec. 19. So far, the paper says Medley is the only elected official whose name has been found.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Jennifer Medley
Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Jennifer Medley(Civil District Court)


Election officials, Cantrell recall organizers reach agreement on number of active voters in Orleans Parish

Still no word as to number of Cantrell recall petition signatures being checked for certification

Zurik: Inaccurate Orleans voter records spurred settlement in recall petitioners’ lawsuit

The agreement, signed Wednesday (March 1) by Judge Medley, settled a lawsuit brought by recall organizers against Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters Sandra Wilson and Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin. The suit alleged that numerous errors had left the number of registered and active voters on New Orleans’ rolls artificially high. For a recall election on the mayor to be triggered, organizers must have collected signatures from 20 percent of the city’s eligible electors.

According to the final document, the number of qualified electors in the city when the recall petition was filed last Aug. 26 had been considered to be 249,876, but will now be considered to be 224,876 -- a reduction of 25,000.

That means the petition will be considered successful if it collected 44,976 valid signatures. Recall organizers have said they delivered boxes with almost 50,000 signatures to the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters last week but no official number has so far been released.

Ardoin says the agreement applies only to the Cantrell recall matter and that no voters have been disenfranchised or purged from the rolls. He also says the agreement to adjust the qualified elector total by 25,000 was not an arbitrary decision.

According to exhibits submitted to the court in support of the lawsuit, a Georgia-based company -- Peachtree Data -- found as many as 31,064 addresses of people in Orleans Parish who shouldn’t be considered active voters.

That includes 544 people that recall attorneys reported are deceased. Another 9,084 who moved out of Orleans Parish. And 21,436 who, according to their data, have moved out of state.

The data does indicate some people on the voting rolls have been gone for quite some time.

This is a developing story.

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