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Democrats elect Sydney Rasch to Pulaski County Election Commission

rasch cropped.jpg
Turner & Rasch Attorneys
Sydney Rasch helped the Democratic party of the state manage its voter protection hotline in 2020.

Members of the Democratic Party of Pulaski County elected Sydney Rasch this week to replace former commissioner Susan Inman, who retired last month, due to health issues.

“I am really honored to be in this position,” Rasch said about being elected.

Currently, Rasch is the owner of Turner & Rasch law firm, where she has filed lawsuits against election commissions and advises clients on election laws, which she says she will do less of now. During the 2020 election cycle, she was the deputy voter protection director, managing a voter protection hotline for the Democratic Party of Arkansas. She said he worked closely with former Election Commissioner Josh Price, who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for Arkansas Secretary of State.

According to the commission’s website, the responsibilities of the commission include establishing polling sites, training poll workers, providing recounts of contested elections and drawing district lines for the county’s Justices of the Peace.

Rasch said one of her key concerns is improving poll worker training.

“In my opinion, ensuring that they [poll workers] are giving someone every possible way they could vote,” Rasch said in an interview. “I’ve seen people turned down when they should have been offered a provisional ballot for instance, and poll workers need to be better educated on that.”

When asked if she had a plan to keep poll workers safe amid threats after the 2020 presidential election and claims of voter fraud, Rasch said she would have to see what resources are available to the commission before determining a plan.

One of the first things Rasch said she would do is learn to work with her Republican colleagues, as she is the lone Democrat on the commission. In order to limit poling locations closures, which is one of Rasch’s top priorities, she will need the support of the Republicans, since that needs a unanimous vote to pass.

“There was public outcry of a few of those [closures]," Rasch said, "especially in lower-income areas that are highly pedestrian. I would say ensuring as many polling locations are open as possible is my top priority.”

In an email, David Scott, one of the Republican commissioners, said he looks forward to working with Rasch, but didn’t respond when asked about working with her to limit voting center closures.

Early voting for the 2022 primaries will begin on Monday, May 9 with the primaries to be held on Tuesday, May 24.

Ronak Patel was a reporter for KUAR News focusing on state and local government.