In The Blogs: The Bonnie Garland County Situation

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    This story is important enough that, rather than re-invent the wheel, I am re-posting the original story as reported by Blue Arkansas Blog.

    The situation in Garland County is worrying me big time.  Again, if you’re living in Garland (Hot Springs area) and you’re going to vote in the runoff elections you’re polling places have been reduced to two:

    Garland County Courthouse, 501 Ouchita Avenue in Hot Springs Election Commission, 649 Ouachita Avenue just down the street

    or

    The Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, 4585, N. State Hwy 7, in Hot Springs Village

    In other words, early voting is in your interest.  DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU FROM VOTING.  Still, this is some pretty disturbing stuff, smelling just like Ohio in 2004.  Already, concerns that this is an effort to influence the Senate election are beginning to run rampant (my inbox had some interesting emails in it this morning).  Whether that is the intent or not, it’s pretty obvious what this is going to result in.  Those two polling places are around 15 miles apart and that’s in a county of well over 80,000 people (don’t have the number of registered voters on hand at the moment).  Regardless of intent, people are going to be disenfranchised by this action, and it could well result in a lawsuit at some point.  But it doesn’t have to come to that.  Let the election officials in Garland County and in Arkansas know that the whole state is watching.

    Contact the Garland County Election Commission, ESPECIALLY if you are a Garland County resident, and have others do the same:

    Chairman: Charles Tapp, phone: 501-622-3622, email: cmtapp@cablelynx.com

    While you’re at it, contact the Arkansas Election Commission:

    (501) 682-1834

    Demand answers and accountability.  The right to vote is sacred and essential to our democracy and shouldn’t be put at risk, regardless of whether it’s by political manipulation or just sheer incompetence and stupidity.

    The importance of Garland County voters contacting the GCEC and the AEC cannot be overstated here. To that, I would add that you should contact absolutely anyone else you can think of.  Call your friends and neighbors. Call or email your state representatives (Gene Shelby, Rick Saunders, Bill Sample) and state senators (Terry Smith and Steve Faris).  Heck, contact Daily Kos and any other blogs/media you can think of who might be interested.  There is little time left before the election, but, if you are loud enough, this story will still get traction.

    I would also encourage Garland County voters who do attempt to contact any or all of the above to email the results of your attempts to Blue Arkansas or to us.  Spread the word, folks.