Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has filed an appeal in the lawsuit over the Lafayette Home Rule Charter that was dismissed earlier this month by a state district judge.
Ardoin’s appeal follows an appeal filed earlier this month from Lane Roy, the Lafayette attorney representing Keith Kishbaugh who sought to have the revised charter sent back to voters after several precinct maps left some residents unrepresented.
The Secretary of State’s Office released a statement about the appeal:
“After closely scrutinizing the judge’s ruling, and upon the advice and request of the Attorney General, appealing the ruling is the only path forward to make certain future elections are not jeopardized. It would be imprudent to accept a judgment that could be readily overturned in a higher court, and I will not allow the potential for invalidation of any election held under the ordinance. From the beginning, this issue has been about securing the voting rights for all citizens of Lafayette Parish, and an appeal of this lawsuit is a necessary step toward the final resolution of this critical matter.”
After a one-day hearing, 15th Judicial District Judge John Trahan heard witness testimony and attorney arguments and ruled from the bench that the clerical errors made in the precincts can be corrected via City-Parish Council ordinance.
The judge ordered an expedited path for the expected appeals in order to help accommodate them in time for the Aug. 6-8 qualifying period ahead of the Oct. 12 primary and Nov. 16 general elections.