NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Organizers behind NOLATOYA, the effort to recall New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell, were back in court on Wednesday morning in a battle over the number of active voters in the city.

A settlement was issued in court, ruling that roughly 25,000 Orleans Parish voters originally listed as active will be listed as inactive. This can include people who have died or moved out of the parish.

WGNO Legal expert Cliff Cardone said, “This is a significant development and a positive finding for recall petitioners. Had it not been for the recall petition, we would’ve never known this as members of the voting public.”

With an estimated 49,000 signatures needed at the launch of the campaign, recall organizers Eileen Carter and Belden Batiste say this settlement will lower the number of signatures needed for the recall, so they are calling it a win.

Carter tells WGNO that signing the petition is still an option for registered voters, however, they will first need to register to vote.

In response to the ruling, the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office says the voter database is canvassed every year in May, which is when errors are noticed and fixed in the system.

Gregory Joseph, Director of Communications for City of New Orleans said in a statement,

“Any back room deals that results in tens of thousands of voters being disenfranchised in New Orleans is an assault on our democracy and an attack on black voting rights. Every concerned citizen should be concerned.”

Eileen Carter with fired back in a statement saying, “This recall is about leadership, accountability and executing the responsibilities as Mayor of this City. The fact that she’d rather create false narratives to create discourse on her own city instead of owning up to the truth says everything that needs to be said.”

The judge ordered that the voter lists must be corrected by August 26th.

The Registrar of Voters has until March 22nd to count and verify the recall signatures.

The Secretary of State’s Office is helping the Registrar of Voters with their daily duties, so they can concentrate on the counting and verification of the recall signatures by the deadline.

See official court document below:

This is a developing story with updates to come as more information becomes available. Check back to WGNO on air and online for the latest.

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