by Max Brantley
A report this morning from Jim Lendall, godfather of the Green Party in Arkansas:
Here in Arkansas, we have close elections, too.
More than a week after the election, Elizabeth McCoy, Green Party candidate for Chicot County assessor trails the Democrat by one vote. Ballots from three precincts may be missing. The county clerk refuses to open the one missing absentee ballot that has arrived, opting rather to order 8,000 new ballots for a runoff.
The Chicot County Election Commission will be meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday to decide on what action to take: declaring a winner, holding a runoff election, or doing a recount, and/or charging the Arkansas Green Party $1100 for the recount.
Jim provides an UPDATE on the jump.
UPDATE TO CHICOT CO. (ARK.) ASSESSOR'S RACE
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 - 3 p.m.
The Chicot County Clerk interpreted a regulation to require that she wait until
the deadline for all absentee ballots to be in before opening any of them. When
the election commission corrected her understanding of this, she opened the
ballot and it was counted. The issue of votes from three precincts not
appearing in the tally was a computer issue that has now been resolved. The
runoff election ballots were ordered as a contingency plan because there
would not be time to order them before early voting if a tie is declared following the recount.
According to Liz McCoy, the Clerk and Election Commission have been fairly
cooperative in trying to resolve various problems with the tallying of votes,
but have not been able to solve these problems completely. It is still unclear if the official tally is correct. The current tally shows Liz McCoy behind by 21 votes,
but there are unexplained differences between the various tallies that have
been made. Therefore, at Liz McCoy's request, a hand recount will be conducted.
Per Arkansas statute, the Green Party on Liz's behalf will advance the cost of
the recount, to be repaid if Liz is declared the winner