On Monday at the Union County Republican Committee meeting, Alex Reed, of the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office, insinuated that Democratic county clerks are doing a disservice to their constituents by not thoroughly checking voter registration forms resulting in a number of illegal immigrants being placed on the voter registration polls. He then went on to say that because there is no penalty for not showing an ID when voting, these illegal immigrants can then vote — though it may be through a provisional ballot.
In the News-Times on Tuesday, Reed is quoted.
“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.’”
He added, “I don’t know what to say about it, other than it’s kind of a disgrace.”
However, when Max Brantley, of the Arkansas Times Blog, picked up on the news he decided to ask Reed about it. Reed denied making the statement and further said the reporter who wrote the story was lying and making the quotes up. (Full disclosure: I’m the reporter who wrote the story.)
In an update to Arkansas Times today, Brantley writes: “UPDATE: Nice timing. Turns out Mark Martin and Alex Reed have been with the county clerks this week in Springdale for a meeting of all county officials. Many of the clerks are pissed, according to one attendee. Reed is telling clerks that his comments were made up by the newspaper reporter. The clerks wanted Martin to have Reed issue a statement repudiating the remarks. He reportedly waffled. Reed’s comments to me illustrate the waffle.”
Rather than calling Reed out, I’ll let the readers be the judge. Below is a digital recording of Reed speaking. Previous to Reed, Princella Smith, the founder and executive chief officer of American Pride Strategies and the American Pride PAC, speaks to the committee.
Reed’s talk begins at 22:35, he raises the issue of illegal immigrants at 24:15 and from 25:15 to 25:37 he utters the quote printed in Tuesday’s News-Times.
UPDATE: Brantley has clarified. His sources say Martin was alone in Springdale speaking to clerks and that Reed told him the reporter fabricated the quotes.