JONESBORO — As Craighead County election officials are trying to wrap up one election, they are simultaneously preparing for another.
One political race, that of Jonesboro City Clerk yielded results that made a run-off election necessary.
Three candidates were initially in the running for city clerk – Linda Allison, April Leggett, and Stan Mitchell.
When the final results were tallied, Linda Allison received 48.31 percent of the votes, April Leggett received 37.01 percent of the votes, and Stan Mitchell received 14.68 percent of the votes.
Craighead County Election Commissioner Jennifer Clack said there are rules that call for the upcoming runoff election.
“If you don’t get over 50 percent of the vote, and then it has to go to 40/20,” she said.
Allison did receive more than 40 percent of the votes, but there was not a 20 percent gap between the votes she received and the votes Leggett received.
Clack said early voting for the runoff election will be held on Nov. 24, Nov. 25 and Nov. 30.
“That is also when absentee ballots can be dropped off between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” Clack said.
Voters will be able to cast ballots during early voting at either the Craighead County Election Annex at 315 W Jefferson or the Lake City Courthouse at 113 Cobean, in Lake City.
The same drive-through location at 209 W. Washington that was used for the general election will once again be open.
The actual Election Day will be Dec. 1, and Clack said there will be seven polling locations open. Those locations are: Earl Bell Community Center at 1212 S. Church Street; Allen Park Community Center at 3609 Race Street; First National Bank Arena at 217 Olympic Drive; Forest Home Church of the Nazarene at 2403 Ritter Drive; Parker Park Community Center at 1522 N. Church Street; Valley View Church of Christ at 4500 Southwest Drive; and Walnut Street Baptist Church at 1910 Scenic Road. Those locations will be open from 7:30 am to 7:30 p.m.
Craighead County Clerk Lesli Penny said they are also still finishing up the final details of the general election.
“We are going through making sure we had all the provisional ballots entered,” Penny said.
According to the final Craighead County election report on the county’s website, there were a total of 85 provisional ballots county officials had to reconcile.
“We are giving them credit and making sure to update our database and purge all old information,” Penny said.
Overall, both women think despite the pandemic and the long lines during early voting, the general election went well.
“Overall, we had no issues, and everything went smoothly,” Clack said.
Penny said she thinks the election went really well.
“We did have the lines,” she said. “We had lines wrapped all the way around the building from the start of early voting, but we had a great turn out. We were able to handle the crowd, and everything was very positive.”
Clack said despite the ever-present threat of COVID-19, most voters turned out to vote in person during early voting.
“We had 66 percent of people coming in for the early vote,” she said.
“We had 3,275 total absentee voters, which was 8.5 percent of the registered voters in Craighead County, Arkansas,” Clack said.
Of the 57,883 registered voters in the county, there were 38,676 voters who cast their vote.
Of the 114 volunteers who assisted with the election, Clack said they did a phenomenal job.
“They were brilliant,” Clack said.