After recently seeing an online petition addressed to Senator’s Vitter and Cassidy of the United States Senate calling on them to recall newly sworn in Governor John Bel Edwards over his decision to blackmail the Louisiana Legislature into raising taxes I realized that many people in this state may not understand what is required to recall an elected official in Louisiana. It is a tedious process but I will attempt to simplify the steps for everyone.
To begin a committee would need to be formed. This committee would be comprised of ordinary citizens of this state who come together with the united purpose of removing Governor Edwards from office. The members of this committee should go into this operation understanding that they face an uphill battle as this is going to be a daunting task. Ideally this committee should be quite large and be comprised of influential people from across the state who have deep pockets (or are very good at raising money) and have A LOT of free time on their hands. Once this committee is formed they need to select a chairman who will be tasked with filing all necessary paperwork with the state.
Now before the paperwork is submitted to the Secretary of State’s office plan of execution should be formulated and a marketing plan to spread the word on why a recall effort is underway should be designed. Preplanning this is paramount as there is a relatively short window of opportunity available to formulate this coup and once the paperwork is submitted the clock starts ticking.
Once a plan is devised the Chairman of the Recall Committee shall submit the Statewide Recall Petition to the Secretary of State’s office before the first signature is gathered. This is important because it is at this point that the state starts a countdown of 180 days that the petition is valid for.
To be successful the petitioners will be required to gather over 1 million qualified voters’ handwritten signatures from across the state. This is the hard part. As the signatures are gathered on the state approved forms they will be submitted to the registrar of voters for verification. This agency will ensure that the names do in fact appear on the voter rolls, that the addresses match the names, and that there are no duplicates. Once verified the signatures become part of the public record.
Finally if at the end of the 180 days it is found that the committee has in fact been successful in retrieving all the necessary signatures on the approved paperwork the governor will be required to declare a special election where he will be allowed to make his case before the citizens of Louisiana as to why they should re-elect him and of course his opponents will have the opportunity to make their case against him.