AG Candidate Rutledge Says Cancelling Her Voter Registration Is "Desperate"

Oct 1, 2014

Leslie Rutledge
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane has canceled the voter registration of Leslie Rutledge, Republican candidate for Attorney General.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the clerk determined Tuesday that Rutledge is not a registered voter in the state. Rutledge, a one-time aide to the former Governor Mike Huckabee, is a voter in Washington, D.C., and possibly in Virginia. 

She canceled her Arkansas registration in 2006 and registered to vote in Washington in 2008.  She also voted absentee in Arkansas that year.

Rutledge responded on twitter, saying she’s voted four times in the past year in Pulaski County and that she has a certified voter registration card from last year.  

Earlier this week, Rutledge responded to criticism from Southern Progress, an organization that advocates for Democrats, about the legality of a $400,000 television ad paid for by the Republican Attorney General’s Association.

Rutledge told Talk Business and Politics the funds she took from the PAC for the ad were legal. 

Wednesday morning, she also released the following written statement:

Democrat County Clerk Larry Crane of Pulaski County has displayed a total lack of integrity by using desperate Chicago-style, partisan politics to disenfranchise me--a qualified voter in Pulaski County in an attempt to illegally secure the election for the Democratic Party. 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.

Arkansas needs an Attorney General willing to stand up and fight when government treads on their rights and that's exactly what I will do when elected. 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. Who will Mr. Crane target next? Will Mr. Crane and his Democratic cronies now manipulate the voter file to remove more qualified Republican voters from the role?

Here are the facts: I am legally registered to vote in Pulaski County and have voted legally in four elections during the last 12 months. 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.

When registering to vote in Arkansas in March of 2013, I went to the Pulaski County Courthouse and followed the instructions of Mr. Crane's staff to legally and properly register. I was issued a voter registration card dated March 8, 2013, (attached) by the clerk's office and have been voting ever since in Pulaski County.

This is a case of big bureaucrat, big government, crooked politics interfering with a basic American right. It's the reason that Arkansans don't trust big government and have no faith in government services. Mr. Crane should be ashamed for using partisan politics to disenfranchise a voter in an attempt to hijack an election.

In addition, Mr. Crane, in taking this act to remove me as a qualified voter, is in violation both state and federal law.

Mr. Crane was responsible for notifying prior jurisdictions upon his registration of me as a voter in Pulaski County in accordance with the Arkansas Constitution, Amend. 51, Section 11(b) which states: It shall be the duty of the permanent registrar of each county upon the registration of a person who has been registered previously in another county or state to notify promptly the permanent registrar of such other county or state of the new registration. In my case, this was not done.

Arkansas needs an Attorney General willing to stand up and fight when government treads on their rights and that's exactly what I will do when elected. Taking a person's right to vote away from them, as Democrat Larry Crane has done, is reprehensible and a desperate attempt help the campaign of a Democratic candidate who lacks the experience and good judgment to protect the citizens of our great state. Who will Mr. Crane target next? Will Mr. Crane and his Democratic cronies now manipulate the voter file to remove more qualified Republican voters from the role?"