Mandeville Representative Paul Hollis filed legislation that would make it easier for Louisianans to recall their elected representatives. Hollis says the Bayou State makes it incredibly difficult to recall a politician in a densely populated district.

“We actually set the threshold higher than any other state, and it is far and away extremely challenging. In my belief, in areas with higher constituencies, it’s impossible.”
Currently, 33 percent of registered voters in districts with more than 100,000 voters must sign the recall petition before a special election is triggered. Hollis says his bill would bring that number down to 20 percent.

Hollis says the bill was inspired by a failed recall effort in St. Tammany.

“Years ago in St. Tammany parish, we had a parishwide elected official, our coroner, he actually went to jail and despite a huge effort they didn’t get close.”

Peter Galvin was sentenced to two years in jail in 2014 after grifting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the parish.

If passed, recall petitions would still require tens of thousands of signatures, which means more people participating than usually vote in statewide and parish elections. Hollis says it’ll still take a serious effort to unseat an official.

“We need real time accountability, and that’s what my bills going to do. It’s not going to make it easy, but it’s not going to make it impossible.”