Election Commission plans training sessions, certifies school board elections

The Jefferson County Election Commission is planning to conduct a series of training sessions with candidates for political office prior to the November general election.

Meeting Friday to certify the results of the school board races, Commission Chairman Trey Ashcraft said that because there will be so many candidates on the ballot who have never run before, this will be a chance for them to learn about the election process.

We will explain how the election process works, and what they can and can’t do,” Ashcraft said. “This will be an opportunity to hopefully head off problems before they come up on election day.”

Commission Secretary Stuart Soffer said the candidates will still receive an informative letter outlining state election laws but the training sessions will provide “face time and information in depth, particularly for the non-experienced candidates.”

The dates and times for the sessions will be decided later, but Ashcraft said they would be before the start of early voting for the general election.

Ashcraft said he particularly wanted mayoral candidates to attend the sessions because of the number of candidates on the ballot, but candidates in other races would also be welcomed.

In other business, the commission certified the results of the school board elections with no changes and made plans for two run-off elections on Oct. 9.

Zone 4 in the Pine Bluff School District will be decided in the run-off between Henry Dabner and Lee Meadows, and Zone 6 incumbent Donna Barnes will face challenger Leon Jones Jr. in the run-off.

Polling sites will be New St. Hurricane Baptist Church, Central Presbyterian Church, Green Meadows Baptist Church and the Highway 15 Volunteer Fire Department.