While election commissions aren’t usually newsworthy — unless there’s an election coming up or going on — our own county’s commission has made the news many times over the past few months.
We are grateful that the commission has finally agreed on an election coordinator, because we’re not sure how much more back and forth bickering we could have taken on the issue.
After initially rejecting Efrem Elliott for the election coordinator’s position, the election commission on Thursday voted to accept the former state representative and current Gould police chief for the job.
Elliott was appointed by Jefferson County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilson IV.
Circuit Judge Robert Wyatt, who earlier this year ruled that the commission could not prevent a coordinator from having access to the county election office or having the tools he needs to do his job, left up to the commission whether or not they would use the services of that coordinator.
The issue came up after Wilkins selected former coordinator Will Fox prior to the Go Forward Pine Bluff special tax election. Election commissioners Mike Adam and Stuart “Stu” Soffer refused to use Fox, prompting the lawsuit filed by Wilkins.
Even though he voted to approve Elliott as the election coordinator, Soffer still got in a few last-minute jabs at him by expressing concern over Elliott’s position as Gould police chief.
He can’t “be in two places at the same time,” Soffer surmised.
Soffer additionally pointed out that no other election coordinator has held a full-time job.
While Soffer is retired, election commissioners Cynthia Sims and Mike Adam both have jobs. Adam owns a cycle and marine shop, and Sims works at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
We point this out because we are certain that Elliott’s full-time job won’t hinder his performance as election commissioner. There are plenty of other people who hold full-time jobs and still serve on commissions, boards and the like.
We believe that Soffer is picking nits on the issue, because he won’t fully accept anyone as election coordinator unless he hires that person himself. Don’t get us wrong, you won’t find a more knowledgeable person on election law than Soffer. He knows his job and has always performed it well.
But it’s time to let the personal politics go and work with Elliott on the upcoming elections in 2018. There is a lot at stake for the candidates, our community and our nation. We are certain that all of the involved parties can come together to provide a smooth election process.
Elliott is more than qualified to serve as election coordinator, and he we have the utmost faith in him. We just hope that all the drama surrounding the election commission has finally died down.