The Arkansas Association of County Clerks (AACC) today responded to Reed's comments in an emailed statement.
Rhonda Cole, the AACC President and Clark County Clerk said, in part: "When Mr. Reed's allegations first surfaced, we did not perceive there to be an issue with illegal immigrants registering to vote in our courthouses across Arkansas. However, rather than simply reacting in the heat of the moment to these comments, we thought it would be in the best interest of Arkansas taxpayers to have a conversation statewide among county clerks. In doing so, we found no evidence of illegal immigrants registering to vote."
The AACC's full statement is attached below.
Original Story (August 9):
Comments made by Arkansas Secretary of State spokesman Alex Reed concerning voter registration has touched off a small political firestorm.
Reed, who is active in Arkansas GOP politics and is a party delegate, told Republicans in Union County that he thinks illegal immigrants are able to register to vote because of apathetic county clerks and a loophole in federal law, according to an article in the El Dorado News-Times.
The paper ran this quote of Reed's talk:
"That's why I preach around to the county officials that it's so important to have a Republican county clerk in every county," he said. "Because that's the main person there and that's who we work with the most. Either through error, they register and have the wrong address and it's, 'Oh well,' they're registered voters.'
His comments are also on tape.
What's in question--is Reed implying that Democrat county clerks are not upholding voter laws? And what evidence is there that illegal immigrants have registered to vote?
Reed said he was speaking on his own personal time. He and the Secretary's office would not
comment on camera when KARK sought clarification of his remarks.
The Arkansas GOP would not comment except to say that Reed is not an employee of the party.
Democrats, however, blasted his remarks.
"He's directly attacking the group of people in that office (clerk's offices)," said Candace Martin, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Arkansas.