Plenty of blame to go aroundPublished 9:58pm Thursday, September 6, 2012
President Harry S. Truman had a marker on his desk that said “The Buck Stops Here.” It proved to not just be a sign on his desk, but a philosophy he tried to live his life by and run his presidency.
Such a philosophy should be applied somewhere in the chain of command in reference to the troubles experienced by voters in the most recent municipal election in Selma.
Everyone knew issues would pop up during last week’s vote. There always are.
This election had the risk of being slightly more problematic, since it was the first since the city went through an extensive redistricting process; a process that is required after each Census.
This election though, had some problems and issues that did not go anywhere near in upsetting the balance of the results, but they are enough to upset those who would have thought such confusion could have been ironed out much, much sooner.
And, unlike Truman, there is plenty of blame to pass around in this problem.
First, the Selma City Council took just short of forever in ironing out the kinks, wrinkles and political sand traps that were part of the redistricting process. By most accounts, they decided on the very last possible day to have the plan approved and sent to the Justice Department for approval.
That should never have happened.
Their delay — their stalling — created a logjam in the process, that resulted in the city attorney’s office, the Dallas County Board of Registrars and the Selma City Clerk’s office having to cram the final election preparations into a timeframe that was far too short.
The council also hired an outside vendor — one associated with Alabama State University — to make sure those voters moved from one Ward to another were properly handled, ensuring the right street, even the right side of the street, was put in the correct ward. Such didn’t happen, and that vendor must answer for the errors made.
In the end, these problems have been recognized and they will be fixed. It is our hope such problems are fixed well before the Oct. 9 runoff elections in Selma.