COUNCIL CHAIRMAN UPDATES THE COUNCIL ON CHARTER FIX FOLLOWING MEETING WITH SECRETARY OF STATE
Below is an update on the meeting held this morning in the office of Secretary of State, Kyle Ardoin.
Attendees: R. Kyle Ardoin, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Elections, Heather Meyers, Lani Durio, Deputy Commissioner of Elections & Executive Counsel, Celia Cangelosi, Outside Counsel for Secretary of State’s Office, Tom Jones, Assistant Attorney, Attorney General’s Office, Jared Bellard, Lafayette City-Parish Council Chairman, Charlene Meaux Menard, Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters, Louis Perret, Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court, Joel Robideaux, Lafayette Mayor-President, Paul Escott, City-Parish Attorney, Daniel Gauthier, Assistant City-Parish Attorney, Mike Hefner, Demographer, Veronica Williams, Clerk of the Council , Joe Salter, First Assistant Secretary of State, Sherri Wharton Hadskey, Director of Elections Services and other staff from the state and local levels
Secretary Ardoin provided the attached, which includes the issues at hand and the points to be made. Issues at hand relate to a number of precinct/map corrections, with a major error being that the plan excluded a segment of voters in the City of Lafayette. Another issue was that the Clerk of Court would be unable to hold qualifying based on the current written descriptions voted on under the new Charter ordinance.
Ardoin stated his recommendations in that, it should go back to citizens for a revote or a special election could be called by the legislature to provide for an election date in June. However, he would leave it in the hands of Lafayette officials to determine the direction on moving forward. If it is determined by LCG officials that the way to move forward is to adopt an ordinance to correct the errors, Ardoin’s office would review the final ordinance. At that point, the SOS could then determine the validity of the ordinance.
Another option is to request an Attorney General Opinion. That could be done by resolution. A majority vote of the Lafayette City-Parish Council would be required. Any one Council Member may author the resolution for placement on the agenda. The Mayor-President may also have the option to request an AG opinion.
Further, the LCG Legal Department would advise the Council on options on how to move forward. No matter the final solution, it was determined that the corrections/fix should be completed by July 1st. Please note that a final decision on how we move forward to correct these errors was NOT determined. Our Legal team (Paul Escott), will issue us a formal written report.
By copy to Paul Escott, we await your response.