It’s an east Arkansas election, so there has to be at least an accusation of rigged elections. It’s standard operating procedure, really.
Rob Moritz with our content partner, the Arkansas News Bureau, has a big write-up on the special election for House District 54, the vacated seat of former Rep. Fred Smith (D-Crawfordsville). Smith resigned his legislative seat after being convicted on a felony charge in February.
The July 12 special election pits Democrat Hudson Hallum against Republican John Geelan and Independent D’James "Two" Rogers. However, the election fraud accusations are coming from Hallum’s vanquished Democratic primary run-off opponent Kim Felker as well as the GOP nominee, Geelan.
Felker lost by a scant 8 votes to Hallum in their run-off and by an overwhelming margin at the absentee ballot box.
From Moritz’s report:
In letters to the state board of election commissioners, the two (Felker and Geelan) alleged there were not enough people working the polls during both the primary and runoff elections, that some polling sites did not open at the correct time, that more votes were cast at one polling place then there were registered voters, and that some polling sites did not have backup machines, which are required. Many of the problems occurred at the Turrel polling site, Geelan and Felker alleged in the letters.
Eric Darden, a Democrat and chairman of the Crittenden County Election Commission, said he thinks the election process “is at the utmost fair and transparent as it has ever been in this county.”
Darden said the concerns raised by Felker and Geelan in their request for election monitoring by the state are “frivolous,” but he said he would welcome the scrutiny.
Prosecutors, the state police and election officials at the local and state level are reviewing the matter. You can read more in this report.