Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mainly, someone needs to do the job

Much ado has been made lately of last week's federal court order transferring some of Secretary of State Nancy Worley's powers to Gov. Bob Riley. Most of it seems to be about nothing.

The latest flare-up came Tuesday, when U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, warned of "partisan colorations" in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Earlier, the Alabama Democratic Party tried unsuccessfully to intervene in the Justice Department's lawsuit against the state for failure to set up a statewide voter registration database on time. The New York Times last week also devoted an editorial to excoriating the Bush administration for what the writers saw as a heavy-handed political move in an election year.

The partisanship concerns are understandable, given that Riley's appointment as special master came upon the recommendation of Republican AG Troy King's office. (What seemed to get lost in the red-blue hubbub, though, was the fact that the appointment went to the office of governor, meaning Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley would assume the role if she wins the race.) A nonpartisan appointee would have been the best way to negate the partisan bickering.

But the most important thing to keep in mind here is that Alabama still doesn't have the voter registration database it was required to have eight months ago. Worley didn't get the job done, and it's past time for someone to do it. If gubernatorial intervention with federal court oversight is what it takes, so be it.


Blogger Sheila said...

I hope I don't lose my standing as a Yellow Dog Democrat, but I am not bothered at all that this happened. I had occasion to speak with a former county voting administrator from south Alabama who told me Worley was not very effective and treated her staff poorly.

10:02 AM  

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