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Craighead County corrects candidate's misspelled name on ballot

by Rachel Herzog | May 12, 2022 at 8:41 p.m.
Absentee ballots come out of a printer on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 at the Benton County Clerk's Office. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

Craighead County in northeast Arkansas has corrected the misspelling of a U.S. Senate candidate’s first name on its ballots, and Phillips County plans to have it fixed today, officials said.

Jake Bequette, a Republican challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. John Boozman in the May 24 primary, was misidentified as “Jack” on ballots in Craighead and Phillips counties, officials confirmed this week. Early voting in the primary began Monday.

Craighead County fixed the error Thursday, and Phillips County plans to fix it Friday, a spokesman for Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston said.

Bequette has filed suit against Thurston, the State Board of Election Commissioners, the Craighead County Election Commission and the Phillips County Election Commission over the error. A hearing in the case is scheduled to take place in Pulaski County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Friday.

Scott Poynter, Bequette’s attorney, said Thursday that Bequette’s representatives were shown a sample machine where the error appeared to be fixed, but he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “the real machines at the sites in Craighead County have not been fixed to our knowledge and we have have not verified the information you received.”

According to election officials, the mistake resulted from a proofreading error during the ballot preparation process at the county level.

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