The Pulaski County Election Commission and Pulaski County election staff have worked tirelessly to overcome many challenges in the 2020 election cycle—new election equipment, additional early voting locations, a huge increase in absentee ballots, losing more than 300 seasoned election workers and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In spite of all this, the election is now completed and the vote tally has been certified and sent to the Secretary of State. I commend the Pulaski County Election Commission and all involved in the election process including commission staff, election officials, poll workers and watchers and the Pulaski County Circuit and County Clerk and her staff. I’m proud to see the increased level of engagement in the election process by shattering our early voting, absentee and Election Day records.
It did get messy in the end. I was notified Thursday, November 12, 2020 that one box of ballots was mislabeled or misplaced resulting in 327 ballots mistakenly tabulated, 32 of which, were cast in House District 32. A lawsuit has been filed challenging the election.
Although the election is the responsibility of the election commission and carried out under their direction, the end result should be a fair, accurate and accessible process in which people can have confidence.
As County Judge, I am assembling an independent bipartisan group to conduct a top to bottom detailed review of this year’s election including the election process, training of the election commission staff and professional training available to election commissioners.
Pulaski County has had an impeccable election process for years and has been a model for other counties in Arkansas and I want to see that continue. Voting is one our most sacred rights, and must be valued and protected.