Is New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell Soon to Be Recalled?
In August of 2022, a group of concerned New Orleans citizens decided that New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell no longer had the city's best interests at heart and she needed to be removed from office.
It was then that the committee filed a legal petition for the recall of Cantrell citing a "failure to put New Orleans first and execute the responsibilities of the position." Included in the issues the recall organizers noted were the Mayor's alleged failure on matters of police staffing, tax collection and French Quarter security.
There Are A Number Of Problems Recall Organizers Have With The Mayor
Other key issues for proponents of the recall was the Mayor's support of a teenage boy who was convicted of carjacking five people and her travel expenses, for which she was later ordered to repay.
And just earlier this week, Mayor Cantrell's behavior was again called into question as a video surfaced of her flipping off the riders of a Mardi Gras parade float.
According to ballotpedia.org,
An effort in New Orleans, Louisiana, to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell was initiated in August 2022. Petitioners have until February 22, 2023, to collect 53,343 valid signatures in order to put the recall election on the ballot.
Today Is The Deadline To Turn In All Signatures Collected
Obviously today, February 22, 2023 is the deadline for signature collection and an article from nola.com shows that recall organizers are confident they have the signatures necessary to effect a city-wide vote on whether the Mayor should be allowed to remain in office.
Though organizers haven't released the exact number of signatures they have, the nola.com article did say,
As organizers have admitted, they need a healthy cushion to survive the loss of signatures that are declared invalid. Across the nation, about 20% of recall signatures are declared invalid on average, according to one expert.
To that point, there are very few hours remaining before the thousands of signatures must be legally registered with the petition so organizer Eileen Carter has stated, "We urge residents who are on the fence to sign and help build a cushion."
To the question of what is next for the effort? Should the petition be filed with all the necessary signatures needed, the Louisiana Secretary of State's website shows that:
The petition is then forwarded to the governor. The governor issues an election proclamation within 15 days after they receive the certified petition from the Registrar of Voters Office, if the required number of qualified electors of the voting area signed the recall petition. See La R.S. 18:1300.7(A) for more information.
For a primary election date, the proclamation will be issued on or before the last day for candidates to qualify in the election (last day of qualifying). For a general election date, the proclamation will be issued on or before the 46th day prior to the election (same as propositions). In all cases where the governor is the subject of the recall petition, the secretary of state shall issue the proclamation and act in all matters where it is made the duty of the governor to act. If the secretary of state is the subject of the recall petition, the governor shall act instead of the secretary of state. See La. R.S. 18:1300.7 and La. R.S. 18:1300.15 for more information.
Immediately after the issuance of the proclamation, the governor publishes the proclamation in the official journal of each parish where the recall election is to be held. Within 24 hours after issuing the proclamation, the governor sends a copy of the petition and proclamation, by registered or certified mail, to the clerk of the district court for each parish in which the recall election will be held. A copy of the petition and proclamation will also be sent to the secretary of state. Within 24 hours after receiving the copies, the Secretary of State's Office notifies all other election officials in the parish(es) where the recall election is to be held. See La. R.S. 18:1300.7 for more information.
If the recall passes, the public officer is recalled and the office is vacated upon the expiration of the time period for contesting the recall election (4:30 p.m. on the ninth day after the date of the election) or if a contest is filed timely, upon the final judgment becoming definitive. The office will be filled as in the case of ordinary vacancies and according to the constitution and laws of the state. The recalled official cannot be appointed or be a candidate in the special election to fill the vacancy. In addition, if the recalled official is a member of a governing authority of a municipality governed by the Lawrason Act (Part I of Chapter 2 of Title 33 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes), they cannot be a candidate to fill any vacancy for the governing authority prior to the next regulary scheduled election. See La. R.S. 18:1300.13 for more information.