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Early voting controversy in Cabot gets heated

One election commission chair says it was a big misunderstanding that actually had one commissioner fearing for her safety. After a heated meeting, voters in Cabot will keep their early voting, just not all of it.
One election commission chair says it was a big misunderstanding that actually had one commissioner fearing for her safety. After a heated meeting, voters in Cabot will keep their early voting, just not all of it.

They drew ballots and then battle lines. Concerned Cabot voters filled the Lonoke County Election Commission meeting, fearing their local early voting might be taken away.

"We can't have real elderly people standing in line for 45 to 60 minutes," says Carolyn J. Thorton.

After a heated debate, commissioners blamed it all on a misunderstanding. They never planned on getting rid of early voting in Cabot, they just need to shorten the voting period by two days.

"I was surprised this many people showed up. I wish some people would show up all the time when we have an open meeting," says Juanita Thorn.

So Cabot voters who thought they were going to have to vote here at the Lonoke County Courthouse will now be able to vote in Cabot. But getting to this point, at least according to the commission chair, was kind of scary.

"One of my commissioners even got threatened that they were going to, if they didn't vote for opening the polls in Cabot on early voting, they'd slash all four of her tires," says Juanita Horn.

But instead of slashed tires, the commissioner will now have volunteers from Carolyn Thornton's American Legion Post. They are volunteers who, after being asked during the meeting, say they're up to the task.

"Even our old guys are strong. We have a bunch of them who do all kinds of work. They tear down walls, they build walls," says Thorton.

They help build walls and maybe now help build polling sites.

Lonoke County Election Commission Chair Juanita Horn says early voting will now be held in Cabot from October 18th until the 29th. She says the commissioner who was threatened did not press charges, but did spend the night at her son's house.




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