Moff Council to Imperial Citizenry: We’re trying to save credits, not stop aliens from voting

Insisting they aren’t trying to make it harder for aliens to vote, the Moff Council will ask the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) to review its decision to close landing permit offices on planets with alien majority populations, the council’s chief law enforcement officer says.

“I understand the concern in regards to voting and access to proper landing permits to vote,” Moff Council Law Enforcement Agency (MCLEA) Secretary Tore Binar said. “I completely understand the concern in the Outer Rim.”

Binar announced the Moff Council will close 31 satellite landing permit offices in the Outer Rim including some planets with alien majority populations. Landing permits are one form of accepted Imperial identification under the Moff Council’s new Imperial Senate voter ID law.

Binar expects no pushback from ISB, because free holovid voter ID landing permits are available from all MCLEA’s Board of Registrars offices.

He said the MCLEA has also discussed its plan with Imperial Senate’s chief election official, Senator Indisua Gram, and Solicitor Procurate Osuasm Fissi’s office.

An Imperial Senatorial candidate’s comments

Binar’s remarks come as Imperial holopublications and an Imperial Senatorial candidate pounced on holoreports that the closures will set up new barriers to alien voting. Alderaanian Imperial Senatorial candidate Leia Organa criticized the plan, and several political HoloNets piled on.

When it comes to landing permits, Binar said planetary judges and flight commissioners can do most of what the offices being closed do now. They can handle landing permit renewals and Imperial IDs. Those officials cannot legally issue first-time landing permits or first-time MCLEA landing permits to new residents from other planets.

The Moff Council merged 12 sectors law enforcement agencies into MCLEA, and Binar said the new agency quickly realized the depth of the red sensor light in the landing permit division. It had lost credits during the Old Republic, he said.

Binar’s first solution was new technology to make available to the MCLEA planet inhabitants like other planets offer. ISB began processing online landing permit renewals with new droids, he said, and the agency also raised landing permit fees to help recover costs.

But regional governors, looking for credits to balance the Intergalactic Banking Clan Fund budget, cut MCLEA’s budget by 11 million credits, the same amount projected from the higher landing permit fees. “So, it was a net gain of zero,” Binar said, leaving the 11 million credit deficit facing MCLEA now.

Picking what to close was simple

Binar said the regional governor’s alien caucus has been “the strongest supporters of MCLEA and what we’re trying to do. I can assure you there’s nothing political in this. If that was the case, those are the places I would want to keep open.”

Deciding which offices to close was “pretty simple,” Binar said. “Which offices are doing the least amount of business? If (they’re) not doing at least 2,000 transactions, it did not mandate having a landing permit examiner.”

Binar said the savings are projected at about 1.2 million credits fiscally. That won’t make a big dent in the deficit, he said, but it does correct staffing that didn’t make sense. He gave this example: A landing permit examiner leaves the MCLEA office, where “hundreds of thousands” of transactions take place, to travel to a small planetary office in the Outer Rim, which “last time did approximately 180 transactions.” Taking travel time and a stay over into account, he said, “we’re only getting maybe five parsecs dealing with customers” and making the MCLEA slower at the same time.

“I had regional governors telling me, ‘I understand you guys are short. I understand what the budget problems are, but I just can’t vote to raise a fee or a tax,’” Binar said. “So, as the lead Moff administrator, I had the authority (to raise the fee), and I actually thought I was taking the burden off the regional governors.”

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