by Max Brantley
Roby Brock at Talk Business summarizes some Pine Bluff Commercial findings about election irregularities in Jefferson County. It appears 68 Republican primary voters were allowed to vote illegally in the runoff in a hotly contested county judge race on the Democratic side.
Not good. But it could get worse.
Brock mentions, and I've since learned more, about another hot race, for a Democratic House nomination between Mike Holcomb of Pine Bluff and Dorothy Hall of Sheridan.
The District 10 race covers part of five counties. According to final tallies, Holcomb won by 183 votes. But Hall will appear before the Jefferson County Election Commission today to raise questions about information supplied by the county clerk in Jefferson County.
Hall carried the four counties outside Jefferson 1,001 to 608. According to figures supplied by Jefferson County to the secretary of state, Holcomb carried his home county 1,016 to 430, enough for the overall win.
Hall said she'd asked for a complete list of all voters who participated in the runoff primary in her district earlier and will ask again today. On her previous request, she got a report of 943 voters, although the county reported 1,446 votes in the race to the secretary of state. She notes, too, that the runoff primary vote was 112 percent of the vote in her race in the first primary. Countywide, it was an 88 percent turnout. Those are unusually high numbers for any runoff, particularly against the rest of the state in this lightly contested primary season, but the hot county judge race could account for higher interest.
Hall will ask again today for the list of voters. She hasn't been supplied ID numbers yet to see if any of the illegal Republican votes were cast in her race or to see if 108 voters added to the voter rolls after the deadline for primary voting were allowed to vote.
"I don't know if it's gross incompetence or corruption," Hall said. "It could be either." She said she was repeatedly given incomplete or contradictory information in Jefferson County in the runup to the election as she tried to compile lists for get out the vote efforts.