I'm starting to wonder what the function of a county election commission might be -- counting the votes, yes (or these days running a computer program to tally votes), but insuring proper ballots seems low on their list of duties.
In Hawkins County last year the election commission failed to make a proper ballot (they blame the city for not telling them there was a need for an election of school board members.) Bill Grubb's headline is simply "Oops!"
Are residents to assume the election commission knew nothing of vacancies? Did the outgoing members just stay quiet? Did potential candidates just stand back all helpless, never bothering to mention an election was needed?? How do you just forget an election is ahead?
Since it was forgotten, now the city mayor and alderman will just appoint two people. Was that the intention all along, carried out with the help of some willful ignorance? And if voters don't bother to seek information or require adherence to rules, then are they to blame as well?
And over in Knox County, it has taken half a year, thanks to a KNS lawsuit, for the highly dubious back-room dealmaking which led to the appointments of 8 commissioners and 4 countywide offices to get some type of correction. But now what? A "do-over" by those who made the original decisions makes less than no sense. A special election should be mandatory, given the fact voters had been cut out of the election process for so long.
The public was quite vocal about the shoddy and dubious 'appointments' in Knox County in Jan. of 2007, but when will it (if ever) be corrected?
A change in Knox County's charter for term limits went unnoticed by the election commission there for 18 years, which led to the last-minute, post election appointments.
Instead of election commissions waiting to be told what offices should be on the ballots, they need to be the authority for notifying one and all which offices are up for consideration.