Election: Coroner Politics?

Yes, I voted this morning. I’m debating writing my pre-results discussion of what I think of each major party … or, in reality, why I disagree with all of them on serious levels and feel unhappy about the outcome no matter who wins.

Until I make that post, I’d like to talk about an elected position that should have no involvement in politics … the coroner.

The coroner is a medical examiner with some police responsibilities, so I would expect their duties to require specific technical expertise. So the appearance of the coroner on the ballot confuses me for two reasons:

  1. Shouldn’t the coroner be hired on their professional merits (background, degrees, actually being a doctor of medicine, etc.) rather than popular vote?
  2. Why is the coroner’s party affiliation important?

Yes, the coroner in my county runs as a partisan position … Democrat or Republican. Why is this important? I put this to Twitter for some opinions.

#ivoted Walton County GA coroner, choice between Dem & Rep. Why is the coroner a partisan position?

Derek was the first to answer …

dcolanduno @WhatTheCast Pro-Life vs. Choice in a coroner? But, that would be a loaded ‘choice’. 😉

WhatTheCast @dcolanduno Pro-life doesn’t matter if everyone shows up dead … unless the coroner is a witch doctor or makes zombies. BRAINS!

Rachel was the next to weigh in …

rslatkin @whatthecast Which party is more likely to declare Mitt Zombie undead?

WhatTheCast @rslatkin Mitt Zombie doesn’t let a little thing like death or strong opposition stop his campaign. Vote Zombie!

So it doesn’t make much sense to me, and the answers from the Twitterverse just bring me more comedic material. I can almost accept this system for city, state & federal officials … but there’s no sense making a polplar election for someone why requires specific technical background to do their job.

What will a “pro life republican” do with dead babies? Will a democrat coroner only investigate the deaths of low-income families? Unless you’re a zombie the party affiliation of your coroner makes no difference. So Mitt Zombie cares, but I don’t.

Enough rambling, I need to go to work so I can pay for the programs the next set of elected officials will put into place. But that’s another rant for another day. Whatever you do, try to stay out of the coroner’s office today … especially if your a libertarian in Walton County.

One comment

  1. Red Hat says:

    In Alabama, the coroner is an elected position that involves both medical and law enforcement duties, but requires no background in either. However, the coroner is the only county official that is able to arrest the sheriff (also an elected position).

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