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Vote suppression 

Vote suppression

We now have proof positive from a chaotic and wildly inconsistent enforcement of the Voter ID law last week that rampant confusion exists on how the law is to be administered. Voters all over Arkansas reported election officials who believed photo IDs were to be used to check birth dates and addresses. They are not. There were also numerous reports of challenged voters being denied their absolute right to cast a provisional ballot, countable only when proper proof is presented. Reported disqualifications of absentee ballots have ranged from 10 percent Pulaski County to 80 percent in St. Francis County to 175 of 200 absentees in Mississippi County, according to the ACLU's Holly Dickson.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Tim Fox rightly issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the state Voter ID law. The written order continues to stay that injunction, but plaintiffs were expected to ask him to put it into effect, as his order encouraged. The secretary of state's office moved before the day was out to appeal to the state Supreme Court and said it had made arrangements to get the record to the court. In other words: Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin will do all he can to keep the vote suppression statute in place.

Tweet of the week

"You won't see me arguing against those who choose to be homosexual — that's their personal choice. Just quit forcing approval."

—Sen. Jason Rapert, who has single-handedly proved that no one is forcing him to approve of anything, exercising his First Amendment right to be as bigoted as he pleases on a daily basis.

Magic numbers

40: Number of minutes played by Riverfest headliner CeeLo Green, according to a spokesperson for the Riverfest board, which is withholding full payment of its contract.

75-90: Number of minutes CeeLo was supposed to play; he was preceded by underwhelming performances by something called the CeeLo Experience and a DJ. Many in attendance grumbled that these non-CeeLo performers were not, in fact, CeeLo.

79: Number of complaints, at press time, from commenters on the Times' Facebook page about the CeeLo show. Nobody flat out said "F*** You," but commenter Nicholas Williams had the best reference to that CeeLo hit: "I guess the change in his pocket wasn't enough."

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Speaking of...

  • Rapert challenger faults his reference to her

    September 19, 2017
    Sen. Jason Rapert, the Faulkner County Republican, spoke to an NAACP session in Conway yesterday and encountered a question from his announced Democratic opponent, Maureen Skinner.Her campaign took offense /more/
  • Latest Obamacare repeal proposal even worse for women

    September 19, 2017
    The Graham-Cassidy bill to undo the Affordable Care Act will be devastating in Arkansas — an overall reduction in Medicaid spending by billions and  a pathway to gutting of premium protection for people already sick are certain to dramatically reduce access to health coverage. But wait. There's more bad news. /more/
  • Another Jesus

    July 20, 2017
    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care. /more/
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    July 18, 2017
    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision. /more/
  • Riverfest is dead, a victim of cost and competition

    July 18, 2017
    Rising costs and competition have spelled the end of Riverfest after a run of more than 40 years. /more/
  • Rapert's grip-and-grin for Commandments contribution

    July 6, 2017
    Sen. Jason Rapert preened today with a blown-up replica for a check for $25,000 toward a news Ten Commandments monument courtesy of makers of the "God's Not Dead" film series, a third installment of which will be shot in Arkansas next year. A second episode was shot in Arkansas. /more/
  • 'God's Not Dead' producers to contribute to Ten Commandments rebuilding

    July 5, 2017
    Sen. Jason Rapert proudly announced this morning that the makers of the movie "God's Not Dead" series of movies will contribute $25,000 to build another granite tablet bearing the Ten Commandments to replace the one knocked last week. /more/
  • Opponent for Rapert starts campaign tonight

    June 29, 2017
    Maureen Skinner begins her campaign for state Senate against incumbent Republican Sen. Jason Rapert with an event in Conway tonight. /more/
  • A lesson in the law for Jason Rapert

    June 29, 2017
    Matt Campbell,the Little Rock lawyer who writes Blue Hog Report, has posted some lessons in 1st Amendment law for Sen. Jason Rapert, who has continued to defend the Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds against plans by the ACLU and others to sue over placement of a religious sect's text on state grounds. /more/
  • Amazing Grace: The Christian faith of the monument wrecker

    June 28, 2017
    Don't go blaming the 10 Commandments destruction on the act of a "godless thug," as one right-wing commentator did. The record shows a troubled individual who professed deep Christian faith. /more/
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