County officials work to repair, restore voter confidence

County officials work to repair, restore voter confidence
Voters headed to the polls in Lonoke County on May 22, with officials saying the county had countless problems counting ballots. (Source: KARK-TV)

LONOKE COUNTY, AR (KAIT/KARK) - Officials in one Central Arkansas county are working to fix voting problems that developed during the May 22 primary, with one election official saying the problems were embarrassing.

"It was almost like the blind leading the blind up here," Lonoke County Election Commission chairman Stubby Stumbaugh said. "I am embarrassed by this process, not only this process but those people that are supposed to oversee this process."

Little Rock television station KARK reported that there were problems at polling places in Lonoke County, first leading to a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party of Arkansas to keep the polls open until 10 p.m. on Election Night after Democrats could not vote during the first three hours of voting due to machines not being set up and only Republican and non-partisan paper ballots being available.

The state Supreme Court denied the request, but a complaint alleging problems with voters being turned away due to driver's licenses not being scanned correctly and inmates transporting voting machines that had not been turned off with votes not counted, was also filed with the state Board of Election Commissioners, KARK reported.

The meeting Wednesday with the county election commission uncovered other issues, including machines being damaged, machines not being able to shut down correctly and flash drives not being inserted in a correct manner.

Stumbaugh said the primary was a sort of controlled chaos in the county, but will work to solve the issues before the November general election.

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