Faulkner County Justice of the Peace Mark Bailey has resigned his position on the Quorum Court weeks before the General Election following a discrepancy into an address he claimed on his filing papers.
Until today, Bailey had been a JP in District 8. He was running for re-election against Michael Yoder of the Green Party. He has served on the quorum court for 10 years.
“It has come to my attention on Oct. 2, 2012, that I do not meet the residency requirements to serve the citizens in District 8 of Faulkner County Arkansas Justice of Peace,” Bailey said in his resignation letter. “Therefore, effective immediately, I submit my resignation as Justice of Peace, District 8 Faulkner County Arkansas.
“While my name will still appear on the ballot at this late date, I encourage voters in District 8 to vote for the opposing Justice of Peace candidate.”
Bailey listed 701 Reedy Road #5 in Conway as his address, which is in River Drive Mobile Home Park. The address listed, however, does not have a home of any kind on the property.
“The residency requirements under which I previously thought qualified me prior to completing the registration to run for another term in 2012 were incorrect,” Bailey said. “I was made aware of the correct residency requirements Tuesday afternoon. This information was provided to me [from] the Faulkner County Election Commission and the Faulkner County Republican Party leadership.”
Election Commission H.G. Foster said Tuesday that the commission was powerless to take Bailey’s name off the ballot, and there was still a chance that Bailey could win the race. If that happened, there were three scenarios that could take place.
“First of all, the loser of the race could sue,” Foster said. “The quorum court could declare a vacancy and appoint a replacement and the prosecuting attorney must file a case to be reviewed.”
Foster said two issues would need to be reviewed: whether the candidate did what he shouldn’t have done in order to get on the ballot, and whether the candidate is qualified to hold office at that point.
“If someone gets on the ballot through fraudulent means, they remain on the ballot through the election,” Foster said. “Then the issue becomes whether they can hold office.” Bailey’s address on the Faulkner County website is the same as the on listed on his filing papers. It is unclear if a home sat on the site prior to his filing. Attempts to contact Bailey were unsuccessful.