by Max Brantley
Republican Jim Lagrone is unimpressed by Secretary of State Charlie Daniels' review of performance by the company providing Arkansas millions in voting machinery and software.
Full release from Lagrone on the jump.
Jim Lagrone news release
Lagrone Calls Independent Election System Review “Bogus”
LITTLE ROCK– (Wednesday May 31, 2006) – “Bogus.” That’s what Jim Lagrone, Republican candidate for Arkansas Secretary of State, thinks of Charlie Daniels’ call for an “independent review” of last week’s primary election systems debacle.
“The whole investigation is totally bogus,” says Lagrone. “And the committee of ‘representatives of the groups responsible for elections’ he plans to appoint to evaluate InfoSENTRY’s report is just as phony.”
Says Lagrone, “An independent investigation should be just that – independent. Daniels is hiring a Secretary of State’s office elections consultant to review ES&S’ performance, then he’s going to ask other people involved in the same process to review the consultant’s findings? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s wrong with this picture.
“The make-up of this independent review and committee is going to produce what Charlie Daniels wants – and that is to find that ES&S was at fault, and not Charlie Daniels. Furthermore, if the results of this review somehow do manage to put Daniels on the hot seat, what’s to stop him from changing the results before they’re released? He didn’t have any compunction about overruling his committee’s recommendation to hire a firm other than ES&S. What’s to stop him from overruling the finding of this committee if they’re negative to Daniels?
“The real question everyone needs to be asking is: Why did Daniels ask for a year’s waver in 2004 before implementing HAVA compliance, and not start the process until November of 2005?
“The review committee should consist of bi-partisan county clerks and county election commissioners from around the state – people who had real experiences and had to deal with this debacle at the local level. These are the people who need to review the situation and make recommendations – not the consultant who is an advocate for the Secretary of State’s office.
“Basically, this review looks just about as solid as this week’s non-existent paper ballots in Craighead County’s primary election runoff,” concludes Lagrone.