- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

Republican Arkansas attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge on Friday filed “under protest” her voter registration application with the Arkansas secretary of state’s office after her name was removed from voter rolls earlier this week.

Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane announced Wednesday that he had canceled Rutledge’s registration because she was registered to vote in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. He also said Rutledge would have to re-register to vote in Arkansas by Monday in order to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 4 general election, in which she faces Democratic state Rep. Nate Steel.

Rutledge’s registration with the secretary of state’s office was marked as a new registration, with a handwritten note saying it was a “second attempt.”

A note to Secretary of State Mark Martin that accompanied the application called the cancellation of her registration “improper, invalid and illegal,” and said Rutledge has been qualified to vote in Pulaski County since March 2013.

“I am filing this application, under protest, solely because the Pulaski Circuit/County Clerk’s office has informed me that, unless I do so, Pulaski Circuit/County Clerk’s office will prohibit me from exercising my fundamental constitutional right to vote in the upcoming election,” Rutledge said in the note to Martin.

Rutledge has said the decision by Crane, a Democrat, was politically motivated.

Crane said Friday that he acted on the advice of the county’s attorney.

“I believe it was very good advice, and I stand on it,” Crane said.

Laura Labay, spokeswoman for the secretary of state, said registering through the state office is not unusual.

The applications are forwarded to the appropriate county clerk and, if time-stamped before Monday’s deadline to register, the voter will be accepted, Labay said.

Rutledge’s application is time-stamped 3:31 p.m., Friday.

Rutledge and Steel are running to succeed Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

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