House Approves Lower Thresholds For Recall Petitions
The full House approves a measure that would make it easier for Louisiana voters to recall elected officials. The proposal comes just months after a failed attempt to recall Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni amid a teen sexting scandal. Covington Representative Paul Hollis says he saw a similar attempt in his own district years ago.
“We had an elected official that was charged, prosecuted, convicted, and jailed, and at the end of the 180 days, they didn’t have anywhere near the number of signatures that were necessary,” Hollis said.
The measure would reduce the number of signatures required for a recall petition to 25 percent of the registered voters for districts with less than 100,000 voters and 20 percent for districts with more than 100,000 voters. Hollis says Louisiana has the highest threshold necessary to effect a recall election.
“Over the last 50 years there’s never been enough signatures gathered to effect a recall election beyond 25,000 people in a district,” Hollis said.
Current law requires signatures from one-third of the registered voters in in large districts and 40 percent of voters in smaller districts. Hollis says that just isn’t feasible in 180 days.
“I think it’s impossible to effect an outcome to where you draw an election for an elected official that represents 25,000 people or greater,” Hollis said.
The bill passed on a 70-27 vote and now heads to the Senate.