Second petition submitted to recall Elton mayor

Published 6:19 am Saturday, November 18, 2023

A group of Elton residents seeking to recall Mayor Kesia Lemoine turned their petition into the Jeff Davis Parish Registrar of Voters Office on Friday with what they say are enough signatures to force a recall election.

Petition Vice Chairman Marilyn Granger said the group feels “very confident” that it has acquired the number of valid signatures to call a recall election against the mayor after submitting the petition ahead of its Nov. 20 deadline.

A similar recall petition was rejected in August after it failed to receive enough valid signatures to trigger a recall against Lemoine, who is in her first term as mayor. The petition contained 322 signatures, but not all the signatures could be certified due to invalid addresses, missing information and no witness signature.

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Granger said 252 signatures were turned in this week, but that at least one signature will have to be removed because the person died three weeks after signing the petition.

Jeff Davis Parish Registrar of Voters Joanna Blair confirmed that 252 signatures were turned into her office Friday. A total of 245 valid signatures are needed to move the effort forward in hopes of placing the item on an election ballot.

“The petition was turned in to my office this morning,” Blair said. “I will have 15 days to certify the petition and verify those signatures as those of registered voters in Elton.”

If the petition is verified by the registrar then it will be sent to the governor’s office, who has 15 days to issue a proclamation calling an election on the question of recalling the mayor.

“I truly think we have enough signatures and the support of the people of Elton,” Granger said. “The citizens of Elton have supported me 110 percent. Even in the heat, rain and cool weather, they welcomed me into their homes.”

Granger said most of the signatures were collected from committee members going door-to-door, although some residents came to her home to sign the petition.

Granger said she worked with Chairman Jared “Firecracker” Trahan and other committee members to collect the signatures. Trahan unsuccessfully ran against Lemoine in the 2022 election.

The recall efforts centers around what organizers said are election irregularities and election fraud stemming from the Nov. 8, 2022 mayoral election. The group contends that voters used addresses that did not exist and claimed homestead exemptions in other parishes.

Lemoine has never publicly responded to the allegations.