A group of Northwest Arkansas election commissioners plans to start a new organization to replace the Arkansas County Election Commissions Association, which is set to dissolve this year. “We can really help each other,” said Bill Ackerman, Washington County Election Commission chairman. “The door is open to all the counties who want to be here.” Commissioners from about 11 counties agreed Wednesday to hold an organizational meeting June 28 in Fayetteville. Previously, the local County Boards of Election Commissioners meetings have been attended by representatives from about seven Northwest Arkansas counties. Others, including Marion and Pope counties, were recently invited. Commissioners said they want an organization that will lobby lawmakers, answer questions on how commissioners should implement new laws and provide peer-to-peer support.
The statewide association didn’t fill those needs, Ackerman said, so Washington County dropped out last year.
The state association was formed in 2009 to give election commissioners continuing education and to include them in the legislative process, said Stu Soffer, past president of the association.
Once the state association dissolves, only two regional groups — the other is in southwest Arkansas — will remain for election commissioners, said Jennifer Price, Washington County commission executive director.