The city attorney and the attorney representing Kaitlin Lott and Adam Lansky in their effort to be included on the Little Rock Board of Directors ballot, agreed before a hearing today in Circuit Court that their names would be included in the drawing for ballot position. Lott and Lansky's lawyer, David Couch, had asked the judge to include the names or grant a temporary injunction on printing the ballot until the matter of their certification could be resolved. Circuit Judge Jay Moody will rule by next Friday whether the candidates will stay on the ballot.
City Attorney Tom Carpenter said he and Couch will file briefs on Tuesday and any responses they might have on Wednesday. The ballot printing has been delayed until next Friday.
Moody will have to decide if the statute on validating petition signatures for municipal election requires that the names and addresses match the county data base or whether the city clerk can take into account additional proof that registered voters signed the petitions. Petitions submitted by Lott, who filed to run for position 10 against Joan Adcock, and Lansky, who filed for position 8 against Dean Kumpuris, came up short of the 50 required registered voter names, according to the city clerk.
"The only factual issue is whether or not the people that they didn’t count are actual registered voters," said Couch. "Tom Carpenter didn’t accept that they are who they say they are, so we’re going to get affidavits from the individuals whose signatures were not counted to say that they were in fact registered voters. It’s up to Judge Moody to decide from a legal perspective whether or not their signatures should count. The city’s position is, they just didn’t find that they were residents, and our position is they’re registered voters and they count."
One of the uncounted signatures belonged to Robert Webb, a candidate for the City Board's position 10 spot. He came to todays hearing, voter registration card in hand.
Lansky, 28, works as an audio engineer. "I want to thank the election commission for rejecting our petitions. It’s made getting our names out a little easier," he said. He said the poem "Live With Eyes Closed" by Anthony Thomaz best summarized his position. The poem, which he read for journalists, includes lines such as "History is garbage, teach me how to harvest."
Lott, 27, has an Occupy Little Rock tattoo on her bicep and describes herself as a full-time volunteer and activist. She's also studying computer science at UALR. "“I don’t like the way the city is going recently. They’re making a lot of decisions that I have issues with, and I realized that instead of waiting for another candidate, maybe I should step up. But the reason I chose to run at large right now, I had originally thought I’d wait until Erma Hendrix retired and I had her support to run for her seat, but she talked me into doing this. A lot of us don’t like the at large positions, the mix of mayoral and management that we have in the city... So I go into this trying to end my own position," she said.
*Cheree Franco contributed to this report.
Raising a glass up here in the hills! Great work Arkansas Public Law Center.
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I love to see Republicans fighting amongst themselves.