Editor, The Commercial:
Election Commissioner Stuart Soffer may have a valid point regarding why the city of Pine Bluff didn’t use the services of the Arkansas Municipal League’s services regarding the effect of the city’s population falling below 50,000.
However, Mr. Soffer states that the Arkansas County Election Commissioners Handbook charges the county election commission with administering elections in the county in accordance with state law. Being only a lay person myself, I may be wrong in assuming that Pine Bluff is a city within Jefferson County and would still be under the overall vigilance of the county commission.
Try as he may to recuse his commission of responsibility, the “it’s not my job” argument is lame. I know about jurisdictions and such, but even if you subscribe to the theory that the city and county are separate, the city is still a part of the county overall. And at many points, their jurisdictions overlap. I’m pretty sure that the only time you find them trying to refuse jurisdiction is when they don’t want to assume responsibility for somthing. But, when they want monies or appropriations, I’m sure they include Pine Bluff in their county numbers!
So, yes Mr. Soffer … the city as a part of the Municipal League has a duty to seek answers and remedies through them, but they should also have access to answers and remedies through their county affiliation. And if they don’t seek them, the county has a duty to request and insist on their general compliance. It should be the same for the county election commission regarding elections being carried out throughout the county, in accordance with state laws!