Last week, we reported that some state officials are questioning the de-consolidation vote that Lafayette Parish citizens decided last year.
But, the group that campaigned for the change says today that’s not true.
Here’s the full Facebook post from Fix the Charter:
Did you know that the council districts and precincts have been modified by ordinance at least 17 times since 1996? That’s just one more reason to not call a costly, unnecessary, and potentially illegal election just to fix a clerical error. We are officially asking the administration and/or the council to pass an ordinance and correct the precinct boundaries before a single Lafayette voter has their rights violated. Here is a link to a FAQ with more information:
Here’s the text of our press release that just went out.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Fix the Charter calls for introduction of ordinance on March 12 to amend precincts
The minor clerical errors recently identified following the charter amendment’s passage on December 8, 2018 can only be fixed by council ordinance; trying to fix these errors by an election would illegally void a free and fair election and could lead to the inability to elect new City and Parish Councils this fall, Fix the Charter announced Saturday.
Fix the Charter is requesting the administration and/or council to place an ordinance for introduction at its March 12 meeting to establish the precinct boundaries to match the lines shown on the maps that voters approved on December 8.
Mayor-President Joel Robideaux and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin have said that a revote on the charter amendments may be necessary due to clerical errors recently discovered in the text of the charter amendments—the text did not entirely match the maps.
Mayor-President Robideaux and Council Chairman Jared Bellard are scheduled to represent LCG interests in a Monday morning meeting to discuss options with the Secretary of State and others. The only viable option that does not illegally void the election of December 8 and violate the rights of Lafayette voters is to make the changes by ordinance. A new election would not only violate the will of the people, it would ignore precedent Lafayette Parish has followed every time the parish has modified voting precincts and districts since 1996, Fix the Charter said.
Lafayette’s voting districts and precincts have been modified more than 17 times since consolidation took effect in 1996. And even though the original charter, which passed in 1992, contained language that purported to delineate which precincts were included in each district—those precincts and districts have been modified more than 17 times by ordinance, not an entirely new vote. So it is clear that it does not take an election to modify precinct lines.
Right now, there are voters who were erroneously left without a district, An ordinance would remedy their problem before the August 6, 2019 qualifying date for this October’s council elections. Unfortunately, in contrast, the soonest a “correction election” could be called would be October. That means the new City and Parish Councils races would not be able to happen. And still having flawed districts in place in August, making the city and parish subject to a lawsuit. In addition, waiting for an election could result in not having new City and Parish Councils in place until 2024. With a legal, quick remedy like an ordinance, it is clear that an election is the wrong option.
A FAQ with even more detail is included in this release and will be posted on our Facebook page.