Two members of the Pine Bluff City Council are listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit that has been filed against the Jefferson County Election Commission.
Steven Mays and Bruce Lockett joined Walter Johnson in alleging that the commission closed three polling sites in African-American neighborhoods, two in the First Ward and one in the Fourth Ward, then changed their mind and reinstated the two in the First Ward but not the one in the Fourth Ward.
Mays and Lockett both represent the Fourth Ward and contend in the lawsuit that Commission Chairman Mike Adam refused to recognize them when they went to a commission meeting to plead that the polling site in their ward, New Town Church, he reopened. It went on to say that Adam did recognize Joni Alexander and Lloyd Holcomb Jr., who both represent the First Ward who were there to call for the reopening of the two polling sites in their ward.
Those sites were the Pine Bluff (School District) Administration Building and Old Morning Star Church, which were reinstated and will be used on election day.
Among other contentions, the lawsuit alleges that there are over 300 Pine Bluff residents and potential voters who have had their voting rights interfered/infringed with by the closing of the New Town location.
The suit names Adam, Commission Secretary Stuart Soffer, both Republicans, and Theodis (Ted) Davis, a Democrat.
The lawsuit is not the only thing facing the commission as the Democratic Party of Arkansas has filed an ethics complaint against Adam and Soffer over the closing of the polling sites. The complaint also alleges that “Soffer’s acts of intimidation and harassment against the African-American electorate calls into question his ability to oversee free and equal elections.”
Adam had this to say about the complaint.
An attempt to contact Davis about this complaint was unsuccessful.