Recall petition filed against Elton mayor

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 4:28 PM CDT
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Elton, LA (KPLC) - A recall petition has officially been filed against Elton Mayor Kesia Lemoine.

Lemoine defeated Brandon Kelley 211-178 in last year’s December runoff following the November primary election in which she had 142 votes, Kelley had 141, Brandilyn Soileau had 80 and Jared “FireCracker” Trahan had 74.

Kelley and Soileau filed the recall following a KPLC investigation into voting irregularities in Jeff Davis Parish.

KPLC found voters who were claiming homestead exemptions in other parishes, some who were registered to vote using vacant lots, and other using addresses of homes that didn’t exist. The investigation found nearly three dozen people who were questionable.

The Secretary of State’s Office confirmed they were looking into the issue and the Jeff Davis Registrar of Voters began alerting those affected that they were being removed from the rolls.

The 21 letters sent out by the Jeff Davis Registrar of Voters informed voters they needed to prove they lived where they say they did.

Thirty-three votes separated Lemoine and Kelley in the December runoff.

Kelley and Soileau cite “election irregularities and election fraud” as the reason for the recall.

When 7 News reached out to Mayor Lemoine for comment, she said she had not yet heard about the recall. She since hasn’t responded.

According to the Secretary of State, recall organizers have 90 days to collect signatures from 40 percent of qualified voters in Elton.

KPLC is waiting to learn from the state the exact threshold because the number of qualified voters in the town has fluctuated in the last year. From April to December 2022, 76 voters registered – that’s roughly a 10-percent increase.

But after the December runoff election, registered voters in Elton fell by 48 voters - a 6-percent drop going into the April 2023 election.

KPLC will continue to follow the recall process and the investigation into possible voter fraud.