“An absolute disgrace”: Senate candidate accuses counties of election fraud

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:59 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Senate Candidate Jake Bequette said he was shocked to hear on the first day of early voting in primary elections that his name on the ballot was misspelled in multiple counties, leading him to file a lawsuit.

“This is an absolute disgrace,” he said. “It’s distrusting, and I am going to get to the bottom of it and fix it.”

Bequette became aware of the issue when voters reached out to him following the first day of early voting.

“Immediately after polls opened, we started getting phone calls, social media messages and pictures from outraged voters in multiple Arkansas counties,” he said. “Saying my name was wrong on the ballot.”

On the ballot, Bequette’s name was written as “Jack Bequette”, leaving many voters confused.

He then reached out to the election officials, who did not seem to be surprised by the typo.

Bequette posted his conversation with Craighead County election officials on social media, in which they said nothing could be done for now.

“They admitted they knew about it, they admitted they have emails that we have copies of that are in our lawsuit admitting that these errors were known weeks ago,” he said.

Bequette filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Secretary of State John Thurston, the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners, and multiple counties including Craighead and Philips County.

He said the most frustrating part was his campaign had worked tirelessly for months just to have it all ruined.

“You don’t really understand the extent of this until it happens to you,” Bequette said. “I don’t want this to happen to any other candidate in any other Arkansas election ever again.”

He said even after the election, he will continue to fight the lawsuit, calling the actions “unprofessional,” and “dangerous” for future elections.

When we reached out to Craighead County election officials, they said they could not comment on camera but would release a statement, which they never did.

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