The St. Louis County Elections Board on Tuesday voted to oust former state senator Rita Days, the commission's lone African-American member. The vote was unanimous, St. Louis Today reports, and Days has been replaced by Eric Fey, who is white and was previously an election board employee.
Days, who was appointed to the commission in 2011, found herself in the hot seat in October after over-reporting the number of Ferguson residents who had registered to vote in the aftermath of the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. She reportedly inflated number of registrations from the actual 128 to more than 3,000.
The publication reports that her "tenure was marred" by a shortage of paper ballots, faulty balloting equipment and delays in reporting election results during the November election cycle.
Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was disappointed but not surprised by the news. The political landscape in Ferguson, he told BET.com, is more reminiscent of 1955 than 2015.
"I would imagine that if a poll were conducted on attitudes, people who live in Ferguson would have the lowest level of respect for government of any city or township in the U.S. and its territories," he said. "When these kinds of things happen, it lowers the trust and faith in the government to a point where it's almost non-existent."
Cleaver added that Congressional Black Caucus members who participated in a Martin Luther King holiday event in the St. Louis suburb earlier this week repeatedly heard from residents that they "don't trust this place."
The Missouri lawmaker believes that even if Days is guilty of mishandling her duties, the board should have replaced her with another African-American.
"We can't support wrongdoing if that's in fact what happened, but the wrongdoing that is going to do more damage is this growing image of Ferguson as being the Selma of the Midwest."
Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.
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