Also overlooked: Partisan takeover of elections | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 19, 2013

Also overlooked: Partisan takeover of elections

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Speaking of overlooked legislative items. Here's another topic lost day to day in the welter of stuff being generated by a new Republican majority anxious to rewrite every element of Arkansas government more in its image.

Election laws.

Sen. Bryan King is going to successfully pass a batch of laws on the election process that will centralize power and investigative authority in Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin; throw out the current Board of Election Commissioners in favor of a new board to have a Republican-appointed majority, and allow summary removal of county election commissioners.

Susan Inman, president of the County Election Commissions Association and a member of the state board of Election Commissioners, has written Gov. Mike Beebe asking him to veto this package of bills, which she says roll back a system of checks and balances instituted when a corrupt Democratic secretary of state, Bill McCuen, had more control over the process. It produced an even-handed process that will return to a partisan coloration.

Her letter is worth a read if you care about elections and the fine print of how Republicans intend to maintain the control they've won through election system manipulation, voter ID laws and other strategies.

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