Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington of Jonesboro has asked the State Police to investigate potential irregularities in voter registration in a Greene County township with a wet-dry issue on the ballot.
The Jonesboro Sun reported a spate of new voters in the Shady Grove township, where voters are being asked to vote dry. That would end beer/wine business by the Old Country Store. The Sun reported that a number of new voters appeared to be linked to mailboxes posted near the store and related to a group of trailers, none of which appeared to be occupied.
The voters said to be newly registered to vote in Shady Grove include a family whose father works in Missouri and whose mother has listed Sherwood as a home address.
Here’s the letter Ellington sent to State Police Capt. Mark Hollingsworth
I have received information of potential voter fraud pertaining to the current wet/dry issue being considered in the Shady Grove township of Greene County, Arkansas.
It is my understanding that in June 2016, there were 71 registered votes residing within the township. By the time early voting began on October 25, 2016, the voter roll had increased to 103 registered voters within the township.
It does not strike me as a coincidence that the wet/dry vote for the township was being considered during the same time frame the township’s population increased by 45%.
I have received reports that several used camper trailers are being used as the places of residence for some of the township’s newest registered voters. These trailers appear not to be habitable due to lack of basic utilities, such as water, electricity, and/or gas connections.
It is also my understanding that at least two of the newly registered voters changed their voter registration back to their original county of residence once this issue was published by local media reports.
I would appreciate the Arkansas State Police opening a criminal investigation into this matter and reporting its findings to me at its earliest convenience. If there are any questions, please contact me at the number above.
In an e-mail distributing this letter to media, Ellington commented:
When the integrity of the ballot box is questioned our democracy is questioned. I take allegations of voter fraud seriously. My record indicates I haven’t shied away from it in the past, and I won’t in this instance.
This has an intriguing political angle or two.