White Hall resident and Jefferson County Election Commissioner, Stewart “Stu” Soffer was recently appointed president of the Arkansas County Election Commissions Association (ACECA). Soffer is replacing Susan Inman of Little Rock who recently announced her candidacy for Arkansas Secretary of State.
ACECA is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that was founded four years ago and Soffer has served as vice-president since its inception. Members of the association consist of county election commissioners, county clerks, county election coordinators and the election support staff within the state of Arkansas.
Soffer says, “The association was formed to give election commissioners a voice.” According to Soffer, new election laws are passed by the state legislature then they are passed on to the state board to be interpreted into rules on how to run an election. Before the development of the ACECA, election commissioners had very little input on how the rules were written.
Currently 69 of the 75 counties in Arkansas have joined the association. Soffer hopes to the remaining six will join during his tenor as president.
When speaking of his role as president of ACECA, Soffer said, “My biggest concern as president of this association is that the voting equipment that was purchased in 2006 is nearing the end of its operational life. I am not aware of any plans to replace the equipment and it’s going to take about $20 million.” He feels that it is a big challenge that will soon face the state of Arkansas and said, “Our association wants to have a say in the new equipment that is selected.”
Soffer took over as president of ACECA on June 1 and plans to be an active leader and representative of the association.