judge-laser
Any votes cast for Jim Hall, a Republican candidate for the District 9 seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives, will not be counted, Special Judge David Laser ruled Friday.

District 9 includes most of Ashley and Drew counties.

Laser previously ruled on September 12 that Hall is ineligible to take office or serve because he was convicted in Faulkner County in April of violating the state’s hot check law. Hall subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration after he successfully petitioned the Faulkner County Circuit Court to seal his criminal record.

Upon receipt of information that Hall’s criminal record had been sealed, Judge Laser notified Ashley and Drew County election officials to not take any action to remove Hall’s name from the ballot until he hears Hall’s motion for reconsideration.

On Friday, denied Hall’s motion for reconsideration, again ruling that Hall is ineligible to serve. Since it is now too late to remove Hall’s name from the ballot, Laser ordered the Drew and Ashley County clerks and the two counties’ boards of elections to not count any votes cast for Hall.

Friday afternoon, Hall filed a notice of appeal along with a request to proceed without paying any fees because he is a pauper. According to his affidavit supporting his request to have any and all fees waived, Hall is unemployed and has no source of income.

The proceedings stem from a lawsuit filed by former State Rep. Johnnie Bolin, of Ashley County, seeking to have Hall disqualified from the election process. It is not related to a Drew County case in which Hall was convicted of harassment.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals in August upheld Hall’s Drew County conviction and jail sentence for harassment and harassing communications. That conviction and sentence is not related to the hot check conviction for which Judge Laser determined Hall was unqualified to serve.

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