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Rutledge calls voter-registration cancellation politically motivated

by Gavin Lesnick | October 1, 2014 at 6:29 a.m.
Leslie Rutledge, Republican nominee in the race for Arkansas attorney General, speaks at the Republican Party of Arkansas state convention in Hot Springs, Ark., Saturday, July 19, 2014.

The Republican nominee for attorney general whose voter registration was canceled Tuesday is calling the act politically motivated.

Leslie Rutledge's registration was canceled after Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane's office learned she was also registered to vote in Washington, D.C. In a statement issued early Wednesday, Rutledge called the cancellation "desperate Chicago-style, partisan politics" meant to "disenfranchise" her. Crane is a Democrat.

"This lower-than-low act of political desperation shows just how far the Democratic Party and my opponent will go to try and win an election that they know they are losing," Rutledge said in the statement.

"Taking a person's right to vote away from them, as Democrat Larry Crane has done, is reprehensible and a desperate attempt to help the campaign of a Democratic candidate who lacks the experience and good judgment to protect the citizens of our great state."

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Wednesday that Crane's office began investigating last week after receiving word of the possible registration in Washington, D.C. The office later confirmed it, though Rutledge was listed as an "inactive" voter there, and canceled her registration late Tuesday afternoon. To be elected, a candidate must be eligible to vote in the election.

Rutledge, whose statement included a photo of her photo registration card issued in March 2013, said she has voted in four elections in the past year, noting that it "wasn't until I became a candidate for Attorney General against a Democratic opponent that our Democratic county clerk arbitrarily and without cause decided to remove me from the voter file."

Rutledge's statement said Crane under Arkansas law is required to notify clerks in other jurisdictions of the a voter's new registration.

"In my case, this was not done," she said.


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