Arkansas election officials muffed GOP Senate candidate’s name, he sued them and won
Senate candidate Jake Bequette calls out 'establishment' GOP for hassle.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Army veteran and former NFL player Jake Bequette called out the "establishment Republican Party" for not doing enough for election integrity after he was forced to sue Arkansas state officials for misspelling his name on Senate Republican primary ballots.
Thousands of ballots in multiple counties incorrectly had Bequette's name first written as "Jack."
Bequette, who is running against incumbent Arkansas GOP Sen. John Boozman, filed a lawsuit last week against Secretary of State John Thurston (R), the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners and election officials in several counties in response to the misspelling.
Bequette told "Just the News – Not Noise" on Monday that his campaign became aware of the issue during early voting. They contacted county election offices and some admitted that they knew about the misspelling for weeks but there was nothing they could do about it.
"They thought they could slap me around like the rest of these Arkansas RINOs," Bequette noted. "But that's not how I do business. We immediately filed a lawsuit."
The defendants "immediately told us these supposedly unfixable voting machines can be fixed," he said.
"They were trying to sweep this under the rug, and it just shows you how so many in the establishment Republican Party... they say they care about election integrity, and then a major candidate for US Senate's name ends up being wrong on ballots in multiple Arkansas counties," Bequette observed.
The former New England Patriots player said Arkansas needs to "totally overhaul our system of voting."
He lauded Canada and France for using paper ballots, not having voting machines, having shortened periods of time for absentee and early voting and requiring photo ID.
Bequette said his actions during the misnaming debacle shows his resilience.
"I'm actually going to fight back. I'm going to punch back harder, and I'm gonna get results," he stressed.
"We've got to have conservative warriors in mWashington, not just Republicans who have an R next to their name," Bequette said.
A Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College poll earlier this month put Bequette second to incumbent Sen. Boozman at 19% to 45%.
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