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The leaders make the difference

By By Jerry Fancher
Who we elect as our state and local officials does matter.
Alabama was sued by the U.S. Justice Department last year after then-Secretary of State Nancy Worley missed the January 1, 2006 deadline for developing a computerized system for voter registration that would meet federal requirements.
U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins praised Governor Riley for doing in 14 months what other state officials had failed to accomplish in the previous three years. Judge Watkins ruled on Wednesday that Alabama's new statewide computerized system for voter registration meets federal requirements.
Governor Riley reported that the new system began working properly on Monday.
The new system is the result of problems in the 2000 presidential election. Congress passed the Help America Vote Act and provided the states with funds to improve their election equipment and databases.
I urge you to contact our congressional delegation about the Mexican trucks operating in the United States.
Since 1982, Mexican trucks have been allowed to operate inside the United States within 25 miles of the border. NAFTA was passed at the urging of President Bill Clinton.
NAFTA included provisions that would allow Mexican trucks to transport goods further into the U.S. than the 25 mile zone.
The USDOT now believes that the provisions of this agreement have been met and is allowing Mexican trucking companies to operate outside of the 25 mile zone.
We need assurances that the Mexican trucks will meet the stringent standards for highway safety that the U.S. trucking industry meets, that U.S. trucks will have the same access to the Mexican market that they have and that the Mexican trucking companies are not allowed to compete unfairly.
We depend on the trucking industry to provide most of the daily materials that we use each day. We cannot allow the Mexican trucking industry to unfairly compete in the U.S.
Jerry Fancher is Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Executive Committee. He can be reached via email at