City Registrar in the Spotlight (Again)

Lindsay -- December 12th, 2008

The Harrisonburg voter registrar’s office is getting more attention in today’s DNR as the Virginia Electoral Board is in the process of conducting a routine review of Harrisonburg Registrar Debbie Logan and her staff’s pre-Election Day 2008 performance.

The weeks leading up the election were riddled with reports of scandal and it is no surprise that, likely due to the number of rejected student and other first-time voters, Republicans and Democrats are divided in their performance assessments of the registrar’s office:  Republicans taking a supportive stance and Democrats taking a critical stance.

The “scandals” included hundreds of voter registration rejection letters; reports of registration forms having been mysteriously modified, re-routed, or lost; disenfranchised voters’ appeals being denied (including Camron from the Obama HQ); and the strange affair of the registrar’s son’s alleged involvement all the way from Richmond.

Consequently, the Electoral Board Chairman is quoted in the DNR as saying, “No one has found any wrongdoing on the part of the Harrisonburg Registration Office.” It is not clear who “no one” is and where exactly they were looking.

8 Responses to “City Registrar in the Spotlight (Again)”

  1. Renee says:

    I’ll comment here what I commented on the DNR article (since the comments there were already breaking down into an argument over whether JMU students should be able to vote here or not):

    I don’t think this argument should be whether JMU students should be allowed to vote locally or not (that rule should be handled by the state board of elections, and whatever the results, should be followed by local registrars). The question should be whether or not our local registrar employees did their job right, and whether voters were disenfranchised.

    With all of the reports of wrongdoing (and not just by democrats!) something went wrong there. It wasn’t just the permanent address disagreement, either. Sometimes, entire stacks of registration forms were ‘misplaced’.

    I hope the review board is thorough and neutral, and whatever the outcome, that it is at least a well-done review. I’m looking forward to see what they bring to light.

  2. JGFitzgerald says:

    “Routine”? Except it’s the first time they’ve had to do it. Routine, but only when the Registrar’s Office is accused of extraordinary lapses and possible felonies. Forgotten, particularly with the DNR’s cherry-picking coverage, is that no one has investigated the Registrar’s Office yet. If anyone has, they’ve done it secretly.

  3. Deb SF says:

    I came across this today

    put out by the Franken campaign. It doesn’t mention either of the MN senate candidates, but it’s a wonderful piece that shows why the process itself-registering, voting in person or by absentee- is so important. For us, the margin of victory was greater than the margin of error. Not so in MN, where any and every ballot might be the one that decides the election. The best time to fix the process is when an election isn’t hanging in the balance.

  4. Agreed, Deb. If it’s broke, fix it. And do it well before next November.

  5. David Miller says:

    The trouble being, who’s doing the fixing and what’s their definition of “broken”, or “fixing” for that matter?

  6. David Miller says:

    Anyone have an update on developments? Anything to share?

  7. Peppa says:

    … someone going down for this?

  8. JGFitzgerald says:

    The story will have to be like water dripping on a rock. Nothing will happen spectacularly and quickly. Part of it is the nature of the crimes that may have been committed. Nobody wants to believe them of a public official minus a smoking gun. Part of it is the DNR’s failure to cover the story except by parachuting in reporters for discrete aspects of it. The newspaper has seen two of the last six people who served as city editor charged with felonies. The paper’s kind of in a glass house.

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