Thursday, August 9, 2012

Secretary of state aide quoted as saying county clerks ignoring law to register illegals

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 6:57 AM

The Republican Party's enmity toward Latino voters is well known. Make that Latinos generally.

Remember when Secretary of State Mark Martin promised to stop providing voter registration forms in Spanish, until he learned the federal law required it?

ALEX REED
  • ALEX REED
More recently, the head of a voter registration drive targeting Latino workers complained to me again about the office's attitude. First, it was short of Spanish language forms. But it did print some more. Then, he complained, the secretary of state was refusing to add new voters to the data base. I asked Alex Reed, now Martin's press spokesman (and a delegate to the Republican National Convention, despite Martin's early promise to keep staff members from engaging in partisan politics). Reed insisted that database updates were the work of county clerks and that the secretary of state's office had taken no action against the interests of getting new voters with Latino names on the rolls. I gave the subject a pass.

Now Alex Reed is back, courtesy of an El Dorado newspaper account of his appearance before the Union County Republican Committee (on his own time, he says). Said the article:

Alex Reed of the Arkansas secretary of state's office next revealed that a federal loophole and apathy among county clerks combined often results in a number of illegal immigrants placed on the voter registration rolls.

Oftentimes registration forms turned in through the voter registration drives to the county clerk go unchecked, Reed explained. That is compounded by the fact that there is not penalty for not showing identification when voting, he said.

"That's why I preach around to the county officials that it's so important to have a Republican county clerk in every county," he said. "Because that's the main person there and that's who we work with the most. Either through error, they register and have the wrong address and it's, 'Oh well,' they're registered voters.'

He added: "I don't know what to say about it, other than it's kind of a disgrace."

Reed's wrong-headed conflation of faulty registration procedures and voter ID is part of the ongoing Republican disinformation campaign. When the strict rules for proving eligibility to register are met, it reduces the chances of subsequent voter fraud to almost zero (Republicans can produce evidence of none in Arkansas). But forget that. Reed is suggesting that county clerks — Democratic ones anyway — aren't doing their jobs. This is a serious charge. Misfeasance in office is punishable by removal, as it should be.

So I had a simple question for Reed. I asked for proof. He dodged the question:


What I said was that the County Clerks are the permanent registrar of voters in the county. I did not imply there was any fraud taking place in the County Clerk’s office.

I spent some time defending the clerks on how difficult the redistricting process was on them.

I followed up, asking: "Have you read the article? You say directly that they are registering illegal people. You say illegal voting is happening as a result and that it shows need for voter ID (which is unrelated, by the way). I want to see your proof." His response:

We do not believe they are registering people illegally in Arkansas. I have a great deal of respect for the county clerks.

So I asked, "Are you saying you were misquoted?"

No response since that question was posed yesterday afternoon.

UPDATE: Nice timing. Turns out Mark Martin and Alex Reed has been with the county clerks this week in Springdale for a meeting of all county officials. Many of the clerks are pissed, according to one attendee. Martin is telling clerks that Reed is saying his comments were made up by the newspaper reporter. The clerks wanted Martin to have Reed issue a statement repudiating the remarks. He reportedly waffled. Reed's comments to me illustrate the waffle. Of course. In the rooms where Republicans go, they will continue to libel Democrats, including hardworking, law-abiding county clerks. If caught, they'll blame it on a lying newspaper reporter if they can't find a way to blame it on Obama. NOTE CORRECTION that Reed himself was not at county meeting, but he was being quoted by his boss. Reed's own written remarks to me our proof enough of his denial that he'd denigrated clerks.

UPDATE II: Allison Gatlin, the El Dorado News-Times reporter who covered Reed's talk, has now posted a recording of the remarks on the newspaper's blog. You listen. Sounds to me like he was quoted accurately.

Reed, I note, introduced himself as someone honored to be working for Mark Martin, somebody doing a great job for everyone, "especially Republicans."

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (26)

Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • Lee's lawyer writes about executed man's last hours

    Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation