Many Counties Failed to Report Absentee Ballot Statistics

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Many of Arkansas' 75 counties failed to report how many absentee ballots were requested by military members and residents overseas in last year's election, making it impossible to tell how well the state did.

Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels, who was criticized by his Republican opponent in 2006 over overseas ballots, callls the problems "a total mess."  However, Daniels says the problems are not unique to the state, saying county election officicials remain overwhelmed by their duties.

In last November's general election, a federal commission found about one-third of nearly 1,500 Arkansans who requested absentee ballots because they were overseas or deployed in other states had their ballots counted.  The commission said 1,477 of these ballots were requested, 479 were cast and 465 were counted.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)