Friday, August 19, 2016

Democratic Party says Mark Martin still refusing to comply with law

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 8:07 AM

MARK MARTIN: Democrats give him one last chance to provide information.
  • MARK MARTIN: Democrats give him one last chance to provide information.

The state Democratic Party says Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin continues to resist its request for information about the erroneous data he sent to county clerks on voter eligibility.

It says it will deliver a letter to Martin today giving him one last chance to comply with what the Democratic Party has said was also Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's advice to turn over more information. The party issued this statement last night:

From Democratic Party of Arkansas Legal Counsel Chris Burks:

“Even though officials from the office of the Arkansas Attorney General advised Secretary of State Mark Martin to comply with the FOIA request I made on behalf of the Democratic Party of Arkansas on August 3, 2016, Mark Martin continues to violate the law. In a final good-faith attempt to obtain full access to the public records requested in the FOIA request, the Democratic Party of Arkansas will hand-deliver a letter to Mark Martin tomorrow that specifically identifies his Freedom of Information Act violations. When the people of Arkansas ordained and established the Arkansas Constitution, they did not make provisions that permitted politicians to hide public documents. The people have a right to their records.”

From Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Vincent Insalaco:

“Mark Martin continues to disregard the advice of Arkansas’ Republican Attorney General. Rather than immediately forcing the state to spend taxpayer’s money on a lawsuit, we are giving Mark Martin a final opportunity to do the right thing. Public money should be spent on Pre-K, not wasted defending a law-breaking politician. We will not give up the fight for Arkansans right to vote. The Secretary of State’s voter roll scandal should again remind all Arkansans that elections have consequences.” 

Martin gave county clerks a list he received from the Arkansas Crime Information Center in effort to identify potentially ineligible voters based on felony records. But he passed the information along knowing the list wasn't accurate and included names of people likely eligible to vote. Martin has said it was up to county clerks to sort it out. Clerks said Martin wasn't obligated by the Constitution to pass along information he knew to be inaccurate. Martin's office has provided little comment about the matter. Martin himself has refused to talk to anyone.

UPDATE: Burks, through his lawyer at the Rose Law Firm, has outlined deficiencies in the response by Mark Martin, repeated his request for information and says a lawsuit is possible if the office doesn't comply.

Here's the letter.

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