Yesterday I detailed some of the changes coming down the pike at the Election Commission, as well as the barriers to getting information regarding new Congressional, State House, Senate and School Board districts to voters.
With 52 days until the election, there are…or at least should be, concerns about voters ability to navigate these new districts since the Election Commission has not yet updated its voter database, nor mailed out new voter cards reflecting the new information.
As I noted yesterday, the Election Commission blames the County Commission…and they have a point…to a point.
But as I also noted, the Election Commission is considering a plan that would consolidate precincts…which would change voting locations for people residing in those consolidated precincts.
The plan, which is loosely detailed in this document found on the Shelby county Website (pdf), seeks to consolidate between 56 and 86 precincts a reduction of 24% to 36%.
As of this writing, no public disclosure of any kind regarding proposals to consolidate precincts has come from the Election Commission.
An Emergency Without Urgency
Yesterday’s emergency alert hasn’t come with any emergency response in the wake of the County Commission’s deferral of its redistricting ordinance. In fact, as of this writing the Election Commission has issued no statement whatsoever regarding anything.
Now, with a minimum of two weeks before the County Commission takes the issue up again, its starting to look like the Election Commission is more interested in having someone else to blame than informing the public about an election that will be just 38 days away when the County Commission takes the issue back up. Apparently, the Election Commission is banking on the 9 votes required by County Charter. We’ve seen just how certain those 9 votes can be (two weeks ago it received only 8).
What’s most ridiculous about the Election Commission’s claim is that County Commission elections aren’t until 2014. The election this year for County Commission is to fill out the term of Mike Carpenter…meaning the old lines still apply. They don’t need these new districts for this election…they just want them.
Its time for the Election Commission to stop redirecting blame and either start acting, or be willing to take the heat for their inaction. It is patently irresponsible for a body tasked with administering elections to not have basic information available to the public less than 60 days out from an election.
The public’s right to know about the races before them right now trumps any work efficiencies that they would like to take advantage of.
They could fix this right now if they wanted to. Apparently, they don’t want to.