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Leftist Group Screams ‘Voter Suppression!’ After Colliding With Arkansas Election Law

Get Loud Arkansas, led by a former Democrat state senator, created an online page to collect sensitive information to register voters.

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In an all-too-common refrain in the war on election integrity, a Democrat activist and former Arkansas state senator is screaming “voter suppression!” after her leftist group ran up against state election law.

Now Joyce Elliott has created a GoFundMe page seeking $50,000 to “[take] a stand against restrictive voter registration rules that could disenfranchise thousands of Arkansans.”

Elliott’s left-wing, get-out-the-vote group Get Loud Arkansas!, which she “modeled on former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s left-of-center Fair Fight in Georgia,” according to activist tracker InfluenceWatch, called for a protest Tuesday evening. 

The rally at the Arkansas State Capitol was scheduled after the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners approved an emergency rule and declaratory order reiterating that electronic signatures are only permitted on voter registration forms that are completed through specific government agencies — as spelled out in the state’s constitution

“What we have here is an activist group recreating government forms to collect sensitive voter data privately. Then, they used third-party software to fill in the official form while transferring the voters’ e-signatures. What could go wrong?” Said Kristi Stahr, a senior data analyst for the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA). 

Legally Compliant?

As one of eight states that generally do not allow online voter registrations, Arkansas only accepts online registrations if they are part of the “processes implemented by identified Registration Agencies,” in accordance with the 51st amendment to the Arkansas Constitution. Qualifying government entities include the Office of Driver Services in the Revenue Division of the Department of Finance, state revenue offices, public assistance agencies, and disability agencies. Otherwise, applicants must use a wet signature or wet mark made on a paper voter registration form with a pen or other writing device.

Get Loud Arkansas developed what it claimed was a “legally compliant digital platform” on its web page for “Arkansans to fill out and sign their voter registration application online.” The online form sought information found on the state application — name, address, and birth date, as well as sensitive information such as driver’s license number and the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number.

The online form asks several questions: 

Are you a citizen of the United States of America and an Arkansas resident?

Are you presently adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction?

Have you ever been convicted of a felony without your sentence having been discharged or pardoned?

It also includes an optional box for “party affiliation.” 

“Once completed, we print and mail the application to the appropriate election officials for you,” states an archived copy of the page obtained by The Federalist. The form has been disabled, according to the organization, “due to the emergency rule created by the election commission and Secretary of State.” 

The digital platform was not “legally compliant,” according to the Board of Election Commissioners’ decision. What’s more, the county clerks that have accepted the reportedly hundreds of voter registration applications from Elliott’s group did not have authority to accept them, according to the declaratory order document. 

“A county clerk as the permanent registrar is tasked with recording in the centralized system voter registration applications for lawfully completed and submitted applications. A county clerk does not have discretion to accept an application that is signed with a computer process, unless the application comes from an identified Registration Agency,” the order states. 

Who’s Suppressing Voters?

Board staff reviewed the matter after an Arkansas voter filed a declaratory order request questioning Get Loud Arkansas’ activities. 

Ironically, the same leftist organization accusing the state of voter suppression could ultimately disenfranchise voters through its electronic registration application form. 

“A voter who is registered by an application that included an electronic signature that was created or duplicated through the use of a computer process and was delivered by the voter, mailed by the voter, or delivered on behalf of the voter by a third-party registration organization is not valid at the time of the original submission,” the order states. “An invalid registration cannot be cured by subsequently moving, unless the applicant completes a new voter registration application that includes a wet signature or wet mark or is submitted on behalf of the voter by an identified Registration Agency listed in Amendment 51.” 

SBEC Director Chris Madison told The Federalist there was initially some confusion about the law by the secretary of state’s office, which reached out to Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin for clarification.

In Griffin’s opinion, sent to Secretary of State John Thurston on April 10, the attorney general confirmed that third-party organizations “cannot create and use a different form of its own to register voters.” 

But to Elliott, a term-limited former state senator and unsuccessful candidate for Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional seat, it’s all just “deliberate voter suppression.”

According to a story in the Arkansas Times, Elliott said the order will disproportionately affect young people, rural residents, and racial minorities. 

“So whether they meant to [suppress votes] or not, that’s the result,” she said at a press conference. “And nobody should be OK with that result.”

So Elliott and Get Loud Arkansas quickly set up a GoFundMe page to potentially sue the state for what the group claims are restrictive voter registration laws. 

“In response to blatant voter suppression efforts, we are exploring legal action against the Arkansas Secretary of State and the State Board of Election Commissioners. These entities are working to unnecessarily complicate the voter registration process and silence eligible Arkansas voters,” states the page, which, as of Thursday morning, had raised $1,760. 

“When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you’re a liberal, everything looks like racist voter suppression,” the FGA’s Stahr said. “The reality is, Arkansas officials are just following the law.”

Madison said the SBEC will next work to promulgate a permanent order following public input. But the law is the law. 

That fact seems to matter little to leftist groups and Democrat operatives finding new and innovative ways to get around election integrity laws — from ballot harvesting to Zuckbucks to Bidenbucks. 

“Unfortunately, this is part of a broader trend we’ve seen around the country: The Left exploits areas where the law is silent, then exploits novel electioneering strategies before lawmakers or the courts can close the loophole,” Stahr said. “It’s what happened with ‘Zuckerbucks,’ and it’s happening now with voter registration.”


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