Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler responded this week to complaints from backers of the proposed city of St. George who received a mailer last week asking them to withdraw their support for the city.

Those who received the mailer signed a petition that asks voters to decide whether to create a new city in the southern portion of the parish. An anti-St. George group, Better Together/Residents Against The Breakaway, was behind the mail pieces.

Louisiana Secretary of State." target="_blank">Schedler said in a Facebook message that the Secretary of State’s Office cannot regulate how third-party groups, such as the one who sent the mailer, behave. He said his investigation confirmed that a third-party group obtained the petition via a public records request.

“Please be assured that the Secretary of State’s Office does not disclose any confidential information from our statewide voter registration database according to law,” he wrote. “Confidential information includes your social security number, driver’s license number, day and month of date of birth, mother’s maiden name, electronic mail address, cell number and whether you are entitled to assistance in voting.”

St. George, Louisiana." target="_blank">Many angry St. George backers complained on social media after receiving the mailers, saying they felt like their privacy was invaded. Some questioned how Better Together/Residents Against The Breakaway knew that they signed the petition.

Petitions are public records, and anyone can request the full petition to vote on the city of St. George from the East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters Office. In order to request the petition from the Registrar, the interested party needs to provide 25 signatures from registered voters in East Baton Rouge.