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Secretary of State Mark Martin is the same sort of slobbery partisan as Paul Ryan. One of Martin's deputies was in El Dorado the other day proclaiming that only Republicans should be elected county clerks, because Democratic clerks allowed "illegal immigrants" (i.e., Latinos) to vote. Pressed for proof that Democrats permit illegal voting, and Republicans don't, Martin and his staff fell back into their Capitol office. The employee who made the original accusation, one Alex Reed, has taken a vow of silence, according to another Martin agent. The secretary of state and those of his staff still verbal eventually told irate county clerks, most of whom are Democrats, that Reed had been misquoted. A reporter for the El Dorado newspaper published a transcript showing he hadn't.

There's incompetence in this sorry incident, and dishonesty, yes, and most of all, excessive party loyalty. If Latinos might vote Democratic, a Yellow Dog Republican official believes his duty is to keep Latinos from voting. This is not the way to run an office intended to serve all the people, whether it's secretary of state or vice president.

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