So – Johnson County didn’t hire him, can’t fire him, but taxpayers have to pay to defend him in a lawsuit.
Can government get any crazier?
Wait — don’t answer that.
Ronnie Metsker, Johnson County Election Commissioner, was recently sued in Johnson County District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union. The suit was filed because Metsker refused to fulfill a Kansas Open Records Act request.
Metsker, who receives an annual salary of about $104,000 from county taxpayers, is appointed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and works under his supervision. His reappointment to a second term came after the primary election, in which Governor Jeff Colyer conceded to Kobach in a tight race after nearly a week of vote wrangling.
Johnson County’s problems tabulating votes on new election machines, and ballots that were subjectively “cast aside” due to signatures and timing, were pivotal.
The ACLU lawsuit does not seek private voter information but rather seeks to provide voters with the opportunity to know if their vote counted – or if it was one that was tossed aside.
It’s embarassing and frustrating to vote in the United States – Kansas – Johnson County – and have to wonder about the integrity of an election. This country was founded on one person, one vote, but that seems to be under attack.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the recent primary voting debacle.
-The county commission for not being more proactive and allowing Metsker to take nearly two years to purchase new voting equipment. The money was allotted for 2017, but equipment wasn’t purchased until close to the primary election.
-Metsker, for purchasing voting machines at the last minute
-Metsker for failing to allow adequate time to train staff and test machines.
-The commissioners for not publicly holding Metsker responsible.
-Kobach for reappointing Metsker after the primary election debacle.
-Metsker for not correctly fulfilling a KORA for a legitimate request.
-The Kansas Legislature for placing the election commissioner appointment under the domain of Kobach with no type of performance check and balance.
-The Kansas Legislature for a system that causes county taxpayers to have to defend a lawsuit (again).
And we could go on.
There’s plenty of blame for this messed up system, but so far the only scapegoat for this mess is the election machine vending company, who ironically just before Metsker’s reappointment stepped up and said they were at fault.
The truth is, no matter who takes the blame, it will be Johnson County taxpayers who pay.
And pay.
And pay.