Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Signs relating to the proposed new city of St. George line the road in front of houses on Wilderness Drive in the Shenandoah area off Jones Creek Road Thursday.

The East Baton Rouge Registrar of Voters Office is almost finished validating the massive St. George petition for incorporation, which will determine whether the proposed new city will be put to a vote.

Amy Pourciau, a spokeswoman, said Monday her office has reviewed the signatures on the more than 1,000-page petition and is moving on to the process of removing the signatures of people who signed the petition then requested their names be removed.

She said 139 people submitted forms asking that their names be removed . All of those forms must be validated for authenticity.

Pourciau said 17.5 percent of the names on the petition were invalidated. But she said she couldn’t disclose the total number of signatures checked or the actual number of signatures that were invalidated until the process is completed.

She estimated that her office would finish Tuesday or Wednesday.

Last week, an anti-St.George group, Better Together, which obtained a copy of the petition through a public records request, released its own analysis of the petition. The group counted 18,354 signatures and said 18 percent of the names would be invalidated because they were not on the registered voter list or their names showed up multiple times.

The group said St. George organizers would be short by more than 2,000 signatures.

St. George organizers need 25 percent of the registered voters in their proposed boundaries to qualify for a referendum. The exact number has not been released by the Registrar’s Office, but Better Together said it believes the target is 17,467.

Once the Registrar’s Office is finished, St. George organizers have 60 days to make up the difference in signatures.

Lionel Rainey, St. George spokesman, said the group has a contingency of at least 1,250 signatures for a shortfall.