Secretary of State Jason Gant further proves he's either incompetent or malicious in the misexecution of his official duties. Wednesday, he ran interference for his Red-fearing Republican Party by resisting a call to fund more voting centers for South Dakota's American Indian citizens. He said he needed the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to tell him whether he could spend Help America Vote Act allows him to spend money on satellite voting centers.
Jonathan Ellis follows up and finds the Election Assistance Commission may take a long time to get back to Secretary Gant. The commission has been out of commission for years:
...the commission currently cannot issue advisory opinions and hasn’t had that ability for years. That’s because the four commission seats are vacant.
... the National Association of Secretaries of State repeatedly has called for the elimination of the EAC. Gant is treasurer of that association, and he serves on a committee called the Task Force on the Disposition of EAC Duties.
Gant did not return a message left at his office Thursday. The EAC’s website shows there are more than a dozen pending requests for advisory opinions that, in some cases, are several years old [Jonathan Ellis, "Secretary of State Defers to Empty Election Panel on Indian Satellite Voting Centers," that Sioux Falls paper, 2013.08.02].
As David Montgomery alludes, Secretary Gant was either ignorant or sneaky in using an appeal to the EAC as an excuse to urge the South Dakota Board of Elections not to approve satellite voting centers for three underserved American Indian communities. Democrats, I know we have a lot of ballot slots to fill in 2014, but let's move Secretary of State to the front burner, so we can lay out for the voters Secretary Gant's disservice and replace him with a fair, honest, and knowledgeable Secretary of State.