Jefferson County Election Commissioner Responds To Lawsuit

Nov 4, 2016

File photo of Jefferson County Election Commissioner Stu Soffer
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

 A Jefferson County Election Commissioner has responded to allegations that he intimidated and prevented voters from casting ballots at an early polling site in Pine Bluff.

In a statement, Jefferson County Election Commissioner Stuart "Stu" Soffer, a Republican, called a lawsuit filed against him "frivolous." The lawsuit was filed by a Democratic Party attorney on behalf of the county clerk and a voter. It alleges Soffer blocked people from voting at the Jefferson County Courthouse on the first day of early voting last week. They also claim it was a conflict of interest for Soffer to have been a poll watcher.

Soffer’s statement:

“My action on the first day of early voting at the Jefferson County Courthouse in the County Clerk’s Office were all within the law and necessary to preempt election fraud by the Democratic Party and County Clerk.  Three prepared voting machines were discovered and subsequently removed from County Clerk’s private office, as witnessed by a State Board of Election Commissioners election monitor.  This was the only time I held myself out as a poll watcher.”

In the Republican Party’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Soffer goes on to say he acted out of concerns that three voting machines had been prepared. Although he is no longer acting as one, Soffer says he was fully credentialed to be a poll watcher and at no point did he challenge any voter’s eligibility to vote.