BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar's Office has pushed back its anticipated completion date for validating the petition to call an election for the proposed city of St. George from the end of February to mid-March.

The Advocate reports the delay could cost St. George backers a May election for the proposed city, as the Registrar's Office must finish validating the petition by March 17 for the measure to appear on the May 2 ballot.

A fall election would mean a larger voter turnout for a more crowded ballot with the St. George referendum competing with high-profile statewide races.

St. George advocates had been hoping for a spring election to create the city spanning 80 square miles with more than 100,000 residents.

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