Technical Correction Ordinance Forthcoming To Fix Council Districts
After consulting with attorneys, election officials, experts, and a productive meeting with the Secretary of State’s office this morning, it is clear that the only reasonable path to correct the clerical errors in the voting precincts is an ordinance, council members said Monday.
Accordingly, the council will meet on March 12 to introduce an ordinance that clarifies boundaries in writing so that the precincts and district lines match the City Council district maps that voters used when voting to approve separate City and Parish Councils on December 8.
The ordinance has been drafted and sent to city-parish attorneys for their review. If introduced on March 12, final adoption would be scheduled for March 26. That would give election officials more than enough time to prepare for qualifying this summer.
"Not only are precinct and district boundaries routinely re-adjusted by ordinance, re-adjusting by ordinance is also preferred to an election," Council member Jay Castille said. "Trying to fix boundaries by an election holds the possibility that voters will vote 'no', leaving potentially hundreds of voters without a council district."
The voters spoke clearly on December 8 that they wanted to see separate city and parish councils, Council member Kenneth Boudreaux said.
"We appreciate the discussion over the last few days and understand the need to correct those technical errors," Boudreaux said. "But any solution has to be one that validates the will of the people. That should be foremost."
An ordinance is the best way to clear up the issue, Council member Bruce Conque said.
"Many people with knowledge about this type of issue have reached out and verified that an ordinance is the best solution," Conque said. "The voters deserve a solution that will end this mess soon."