Judge OKs poll watcher in Pine Bluff | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Judge OKs poll watcher in Pine Bluff

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 7:11 AM

After a hearing yesterday, Special Judge David Laser held that it was legal for Jefferson County Election Commission Stu Soffer, a Republican, to also serve as a poll watcher so long as he was appointed by the Republican Party, rather than an individual candidate.

Laser said that Soffer and another member of the commission had run afoul of the state Freedom of Information Act by having phone conversations about commission matters without public notice, but said it amounted to a "no foul" situation.

Voters who sued, with help from Democratic Party counsel, claimed Soffer's presence was intimidating. Soffer disputed specific accounts of his presence and said he was on scene because of problems in the setup of voting machines for early voting and also to prevent election fraud.

Plenty more details of the hearing in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

I note that Doyle Webb, chair of the Republican Party, told the D-G the GOP would continue to appoint election commissioners as poll watchers as circumstances demanded, but he  said the need is rare. I hope so. The problem is as the Democratic counsel, Chris Burks, stated. Poll watchers can challenge validity of voters casting ballots. The commission then makes the decision on whether provisional ballots should be counted. It's ripe for conflict of interest. Soffer has said he challenged no ballots.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The Mondo Trumpe open line

    A world of the dogs? Check out Trump's latest poll ratings.
    • Jul 22, 2018
  • University pay ranking puts UA System chief at 57

    The Chronicle of Higher Education recently released its survey of pay of top public and private university leaders in 2016-17. Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, checked in at No. 57 on the list of 251 public university leaders.
    • Jul 22, 2018
  • Winds, race and an open line

    The open line includes power outages, Republicans and racism.
    • Jul 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation