AR-Sen: Not enough polling places in Halter stronghold

Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter has momentum going into tomorrow's runoff election against U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, but only two polling places will be open in the most populous county Halter carried in the Democratic primary election. The Blue Arkansas blog has been all over this disturbing story. Garland County has about 80,000 residents, of whom about 12,000 voted at 42 polling places in the Democratic primary on May 18. The Chairman of the Garland County Election Commission, Charles Tapp, is not budging from the decision to open only two polling places in the county for the runoff. That will create obstacles for many voters, especially minorities and people in rural areas. On June 4 Tapp promised to open polling stations on the weekend to make it easier for people to vote, but the stations were closed on Saturday. ARDem explains why you should care:

Remember how rural voters broke so heavily for Halter in the primary? Well now those same rural voters have to travel miles across a mountain range to get to town on a weekday to cast their vote [....] While Halter was going down to Hot Springs to stand up for the right to vote and stuck up for the people trying to do their sacred civic duty, Lincoln couldn’t even bother to talk to us with that condescending double speak of hers:

A spokesperson with Senator Blanche Lincoln’s campaign said they do not have any comment at this time.

Couldn’t even say they were troubled by it.

Pulaski County, which Lincoln carried easily on May 18, has about six times the population of Garland but will have about 50 times as many voting locations open on June 8. Blue Arkansas is urging disenfranchised voters to call Lincoln's campaign, the Garland County Elections Commission, the Arkansas Elections Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. The White House and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which are backing Lincoln, should also denounce any attempt to suppress the vote in Arkansas and should demand that a sufficient number of polling stations be open statewide tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Lincoln is trying to portray herself as one of the people while Halter (backed by several labor unions and progressive organizations) is supposedly "letting other people fund his campaign and do his dirty work." Think Progress posted a partial list of the corporate PAC money flowing to Lincoln's campaign. It's not the first time we've seen signs of Lincoln's dishonesty, and it won't be the last if she manages to defeat Halter.

Tags: AR-Sen, Arkansas, 2010 elections, Congress, Senate, Blanche Lincoln, Bill Halter (all tags)



Garland County

I read this story over the weekend and was deeply troubled by it. I am disappointed that media outlets have not covered it. I made several pleas to people I know at the HP to drop the front page self-promotion of Arianna's appearance on the Sunday talk circuit and cover this crucial story.

Markos' poling has been seeing even better accuracy this cycle, and he believed Halter has a narrow 4% point lead.

Such trickery, while (regrettably) equally common on all sides of politics, could make the difference here between a huge win and a huge loss. Although I still have to wonder why the race is this close...

For the reader, here is a map of Garland County.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-07 09:34AM | 0 recs

Obama apparently told Blanche to jump in the lake.

I don't know. If the story is true, I sort of like this vindictive side to him. Good for him. That's what you get for standing in the way of important legislation.

If Halter can pull off a miracle here and win this, I wonder if Obama endorses him right away? It would be the perfect eff you.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-07 11:45AM | 0 recs
RE: Also

Better off with Obama remaining quiet-- the less association the better.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-06-07 01:01PM | 0 recs
Corrupt machine politics

This is an amazing atrocity against democratic politics. If Lincoln managed to somehow win (I don't think she will) narrowly, this is going to have blowback.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-06-07 01:03PM | 0 recs
A thumb on the scale of democracy

And against everything we stand for as a party.

The GOP has always been the party of "if people are too dumb/don't have the energy/whatever to do X, then they shouldn't vote."

We're the party that is adamantly against barriers to voting, the party that believes every adult should be able to vote without impediment.

It's a Tuesday, people have to work, and yet there will only be two polling places open in the entire county.  I can see the thought going through the heads of the party types who support Blanche: "that'll knock a couple thousand off Halter's vote totals right there."  It might.  But it is an atrocity.

by RT 2010-06-08 09:39AM | 0 recs
What are the unions doing?

One thing unions are supposed to have more than money, is organizing power? Can't they organize some kind of powerful protest? Scare the hell out of the politicians involved in this crap? When the official promised a booth will be open during the weekend and it was closed, isnt there some way to hold him accountable for his lie?

by Pravin 2010-06-07 02:38PM | 0 recs


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