Kyle proposes citizen's talk force to review Shelby County election processes

For weeks, a committee of state senators has been acting as judge and jury, holding hearings about what happened in the District 29 state senate race. Monday, one of those senators said it's time for action in Shelby County, but his request may not get very far.

State Senator Jim Kyle has watched the debate over the disputed District 29 state senate seat unfold. He's seen enough, he said, and now he wants Shelby County residents to get involved.

"We need a vehicle for people to regain confidence in our Election Commission, and I believe our Election Commission will appreciate this," Kyle said.

Kyle's plan is to create a citizen task force to review the election process in Shelby County. And, so far, the Election Commission does NOT appear to appreciate it much.

"Until the partisanship has subsided, and very candidly that's not going to happen until there is some resolution as to the Senate 29, I'm not really sure how much constructive good can come out of any process," said Greg Duckett, chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission.

Kyle has asked Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton to put together the task force.

"The key to the whole thing is citizen involvement in this," Wharton said. He added there are critical questions that need to be answered but, he's not sure whether he'll do what Kyle has asked.

"It may not be to the letter," Wharton said, "but I do think some oversight or some inquiry is called for in terms of going forward."

"All I'm asking for is for them to review the situation, make recommendations in 90 days," Kyle said. "Then the election commission can take the recommendations, they can accept them, they can turn them down."

Whatever they do, County Election Commission Chairman Greg Duckett says it's not likely to happen now.

"I would like all of the criminal investigations to be completed before we start looking at, in a public sense, ways to enhance the election process," he said.