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Secretary of State weighs in on deconsolidation vote

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 19:07:58-05

The debate continues whether Lafayette Parish voters will have to re-vote on a measure to deconsolidate the Lafayette City-Parish Council.

Last week, the registrar of voters pointed out several errors involving voting precincts approved by voters last year.

Tonight, three Lafayette councilmen say an ordinance would fix the problem. In a press release, Councilmen Kenneth Boudreaux, Jay Castille and Bruce Conque plan to introduce an ordinance on March 12 that would clarify boundaries to make the district lines match the new city council district maps.

The announcement comes after a meeting with Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.

“The will of the people is not being thwarted. We’re just trying to figure out simply how to implement it and make sure all voters are included in all districts,” Ardoin said.

Monday, he made two recommendations on how to fix the errors. He says corrections could be placed on the May ballot. Ardoin also suggested that LCG seek special legislation for a June election, despite some council members insisting they can fix the issue with an ordinance.

“I told them I’ll leave that up to them and my recommendations are my recommendations,” said Ardoin. “They can choose how to fix this, but this has to be fixed.”

Ardoin said his conversation last week with Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux is being misconstrued.

Robideaux said, “The Secretary of State reached out to me and said that there are fixes and corrections that need to be made and in all likely hood, that meant that a new vote would need to be taken.”

Ardoin said, “I was not suggesting that the entire issues of consolidation vs deconsolidation be voted on again, but simply an amendment to the home rule charter fixing the district lines which left out voters.”

Ardoin believes his role is to make sure all voters are represented.

“I’m just saying to the Lafayette Parish governing authority, fix this issue whichever way you think is best,” said Ardoin. “Take into consideration there might be challenges on either side. What we have to do is have a fix in place by July 1 in order to have qualifying for the October election.”