SEBASTIAN COUNTY, Ark. — A race in Sebastian County was completely left off the ballot for the first day of early voting leaving two candidates confused when they didn’t see their names on the ballot.
Robert Barker and Jeffrey Clift are running for City Council Ward 3 in Barling. They both found out their race was left off the ballot when they went to early vote on Monday (Oct. 19).
“To my surprise as I got to the end of my ballot, my race wasn’t on the ballot,” Clift said.
“I was pretty excited to vote for myself. It was a disappointment once I didn’t see my name on there," Barker said.
They both say no one called them to tell them about the mistake.
“In such a contentious and huge election year, I would think that T’s would be crossed, and I’s would be dotted before you allowed any ballot to go out no matter what race it is,” Clift said.
“It should have been tripled checked several times just to make sure everything was right," Barker said. "Even though my part is a small election, you know with it being a presidential everything should have been checked, double-checked and triple-checked."
The Sebastian County Election Commission says they have already corrected the mistake and only people who voted Monday or by absentee ballot didn’t get to vote for the Barling Ward 3 race and all those people who did already vote will get the chance to vote for that race.
Election Commissioner Lee Webb says they do proof all the ballots and they did get the notice to put the Ward 3 race on the ballot but it was somehow overlooked.
“We proofed them, and we missed it but we also sent it to the cities and counties that ask us to put something on there and it got passed that proof also," Webb said. "So, we double-check things and it still got through and it was a mistake."
Webb says if you are one of those people in the ward who voted Monday or received an absentee ballot, you will be getting a call to tell you that can go back to vote for that race.
Moving forward, everyone walking in to vote in Barling Ward 3 will be getting two ballots, the ballot with the race left off of it and a separate ballot with the City Council Ward 3 race on it.
Both candidates encourage anyone who cast their ballot before the issue was corrected to please go back and vote.