Thursday, October 26, 2006

Register of Deeds

Over 2 months ago, while driving to work one day, I saw a lone and rather large sign out on 27 asking me to please re-elect Elaine Harmon as the Register of Deeds. This was long before mid-term election frenzy dominated the airwaves and newscasts. Long before 95% of commercials turned to ads meant to denigrate opponents rather than laud candidates. Long before anyone else stuck a sign in the ground and asked me to please re-elect them.

I had no idea what the Register of Deeds actually did, why it was an elected position or why I wanted Elaine Harmon on the job. But I was curious, so I did a little digging.

The Register of Deeds is responsible for issuing and maintaining lots of paperwork and files - deeds, trusts, birth certificates, marriage certificates, maps, etc. One website describes the Register of Deeds office as a library of local records. Back in 2002, the Lincoln county Register of Deeds paid $47,000 a year. I have not quite figured out why this is an elected position. It would seem to me you would want to appoint someone based on natural job qualifications - organization, intelligence, people skills - and not just elect any Tom, Dick or Harry (or Elaine) to the job.

As it turns out, Elaine Harmon (who is a Democrat), is running for a 5th term. A few articles in our local paper laud her accomplishments over the last 15+ years including her automation of the office. According to one local blogger, she has this race in the bag. Frankly, I haven't seen much in the way of a campaign for her Republican competitor, Jerry Long, so I'd be inclined to agree.

Still - Elaine seems to be making a big push. The closer we get to the election, the more signs I have seen. Big ones. Little ones. Some in prominent roadside locations. Some stand alone. Some are comingled with other political aspirants hoping to be elected this November 7th.

So while the rest of the country breathlessly waits to see which way the balance of power will shift in the Senate and the House, I am waiting to see if Elaine Harmon gets to keep her job as Lincoln County Register of Deeds.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...