Charlie on the job | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Charlie on the job

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2006 at 3:36 PM

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels floats a proposal on voting procedure. Release on the jump.

He needs to repair some damage on this issue, no doubt, even if some of it has been inflicted by hyperbole, if not downright misleading information, about military voting problems.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – September 6, 2006 – Secretary of State Charlie Daniels announced today a proposal to establish state-funded election coordinators for each county in Arkansas, a move he suggests will centralize and streamline the administration of elections at the local level, providing much-needed resources for both county clerks and county election commissions. 


The proposal will require legislation to authorize and appropriate funding for the employment of a state-funded election coordinator for each county.  The election coordinator program will provide county clerks and election commissions with an election administrator trained and certified by the state.  Daniels cites the Help America Vote Act and its mandates for new technology as a major impetus for the proposal.


“The workload for local election officials in this era of new technology is so much greater than in previous years,” Daniels said.  “Our election commissions and county clerks all have other responsibilities they must tend to, and election administration is no longer a part-time job.”


“The requirements of HAVA, including new technology, standardization and uniformity of elections have brought about the need for dedicated, professional election administrators that can focus solely on preparation for elections in the future.  The election coordinator program provides assistance to Arkansas counties.”


Fourteen counties in Arkansas already employ a full or part-time election coordinator.  Those counties would be eligible for funding under the proposal to hire additional staff if needed. 


Daniels says he is committed to working with the legislature, election commissioners and county clerks in refining the proposal for the 2007 legislative session.  Daniels’ goal is to have the system in place by the 2008 presidential elections.


Daniels added, “Election coordinators make sense for our counties.  For too long, we have relied on a very antiquated and de-centralized structure of election administration at the local level.  It is time to change that, and to provide our part-time election officials with the help they desperately need.”


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