Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mark Martin scolded for lack of election prep

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 9:07 AM

NOT ME: Secretary of State Mark Martin blames outdated website on predecessor who left office at end of 2010.
  • NOT ME: Secretary of State Mark Martin blames outdated website on predecessor who left office at end of 2010.
Roy Ockert, columnist for the Jonesboro Sun, went looking for 2012 election information — it is 2012, after all — on the secretary of state's website and wasn't impressed by what he found.

Most of the information you’ll find there for candidates, news organizations and other citizens is left over from the 2010 election.

For example, to help people determine where the various candidates for the State Senate and House of Representatives will be running, there are maps of the districts you can download. The only trouble is they are the old maps. Secretary of State Mark Martin was involved in the redistricting process after the 2010 Census, but he hasn’t yet found time to get someone in his office to make new maps available on the website.

On the front page of the Elections Division is an elections calendar for 2012, which points out that noon Sunday was the first day for nonpartisan judicial candidates to file petitions for ballot access. It doesn’t say where these petitions should be filed, what form is required or how many signatures must be gathered. And frankly I doubt that any government office was open Sunday to take the petitions. Maybe Monday.

But that calendar says we’re having a general election, a presidential election no less, on Nov. 6, and there’s a lot of paperwork to get filed, a lot of words to fly, between now and then.

There's more. Lots more.

PS — Ockert didn't even mention the lack of an updated printed or on-line initiated act guideline, with signature requirements. That's another process underway right this minute.

UPDATE: This is rich. Roy Ockert has shared a response he received from the secretary of state's office. His complaints are legitimate, the letter says, though ONE piece of information he sought actually was there. But what I love is that aide Mark Myers, who'd laugh you out of the room if you said Barack Obama inherited a financial disaster from George Bush, is blaming the former secretary of state for the problem. I kid you not.

LETTER TO OCKERT

Roy,

By and large your criticisms were legitimate. However, you were incorrect on one. You can look up 2010 election results anyway you like, just not on the same page.

This goes to a systemic change made by the previous administration.

Here is the link to the 2010 election results page that allows you to search for any and all elections, just about any way you would like to do so.http://www.votenaturally.org/electionresults/index.php?elecid=231

We're working on the rest of the things, but as I mentioned before a technology change has forced the office to prioritize its efforts across all divisions. You just happened onto one of our next projects.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to call Alex Reed (501.682.1217) or reach either of us via email.

Thanks!

Warm Regards,
- Mark
Mark Myers
Arkansas Secretary of State
Director of Strategic Initiatives

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