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Should A State Senator Have To Follow Election Laws?

September 24, 2009
tags: 2009 municipal, David Jordan
by Brett

Writing in his weekly column, Brian Perry reported on many of the election laws that were violated during the last municipal elections. One of the more common issues revolved around the prohibition of campaigning within 150-feet of a precinct. This law seems pretty simple, and the reasons are obvious: to prevent voter intimidation. However, state Sen. David Jordan (D-Greenwood), who doubles as a city councilman and was running for re-election to that post this past spring, was seen violating the 150-foot rule. What happens when you mention this to Jordan? He pulls out the race card.

From the Greenwood Commonwealth:

City Councilman David Jordan, who also is a state senator, says there was racial bias in the way observers from the secretary of state and the state attorney general were placed.

“I don’t know why the state was doing all this,” Jordan said. “And they were awfully heavy in the African-American community, which I totally resent.”

Jordan said he spoke with the U.S. Justice Department before the election and requested federal observers. The Justice Department sent several people.

The state agencies arrived uninvited and put people only in predominantly black areas and not in North Greenwood as far as he knows, Jordan said. He said voters could have been frightened away from the polls.

“I consider it was total intimidation of the black community to be heavy-handed with their observations,” Jordan said.

Sen. Jordan: Maybe the observers are there because YOU violated election laws. Maybe when YOU stop breaking the law, the observers will have no need to be there. But I won’t hold my breath on either.

More on Jordan:

The report said a representative of Hood’s office asked Jordan to stop handing out campaign material within 150 feet of the precinct.

“Jordan quit handing out material, but continued to campaign by walking up to people and telling them to vote for him and directing his workers to hand out the fliers,” the report stated.

Jordan was reportedly seen standing next to a curbside voter’s car as the person filled out a ballot.

Jordan said this morning it’s up to the poll manager to rope off how close the candidates can get and that he stayed outside that boundary. He said he saw someone from the attorney general’s office but never spoke with the person.

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