The name of State Rep. Tiffany Rogers, D-Stuttgart, will appear in full on the Nov. 6 general election ballot after the commission changed her name's point size from 14 points to 12 points.

White County election commissioners believe they have found a solution to a problem on the general election ballot, but the candidate affected believes the solution leaves much to be desired.

The name of State Rep. Tiffany Rogers, D-Stuttgart, will appear in full on the Nov. 6 general election ballot after the commission changed her name's point size from 14 points to 12 points. The name of Rogers' opponent, incumbent Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, will also be reduced to 12-point font on the Nov. 6 ballot. Dismang and Rogers are vying to represent District 28 in the Senate.

Rogers' name was entered in the balloting software as "State Representative Tiffany Rogers," as Rogers entered on her political practice pledge. However, her name appears on the electronic ballot as "State Representative Tiffany Rog..."
Winston Collier, election commission chairman, said he was made aware of the mistake when early voting began Monday morning. Afterward, the commission had signs placed on paper inside each voting machine, saying that Rogers' name was truncated with her full name printed.

Collier said he received verification on Wednesday that state law allows font sizes to be reduced as long as the content remained unchanged. Font sizes cannot be changed on early voting machines, Collier said, adding that different machines are used on election day than are used in early voting.

Rogers said she is happy that the election day ballot will be changed, but believes the record number of people turning out for early voting this election cycle may have a negative impact on her campaign.

"We run on our name and our record," she said. "Typically, it's the last name that is prominent. For it to be 'Rog...' on the ballot? Really?

"Probably close to 40 percent of voting is going to be done early this year. In just three days, a lot of people have been getting out to vote. I just want to be sure this is done appropriately for everyone."

Rogers reiterated that she believes the mistake should not have been made in the first place.

"There are just a lot of things that are not right," she said. "I'm not trying to lay blame on anyone specifically, but I don't understand how five other counties (in Senate District 28) can get it right. I don't think all of the laws were followed in setting up the machines to vote. By their own admission, they didn't know until Monday morning. Their story is changing from time to time on what they can do."

White County is what the Arkansas Secretary of State's office calls a "program your own" (PYO) county, meaning that county officials program the voting machines instead of outsourcing the job to private companies. Collier said that the machines were tested prior to early voting and no errors were detected.

Leslie Bellamy, White County election coordinator, said no screenshots were generated during the testing process.

"As far as the counties (Rogers) keeps speaking of, I believe they outsource their ballot style and coding," Collier said. "We're the only one that's a PYO county."

Collier said White County was already a PYO county when he was appointed to the commission in 2009. Many of the larger counties in the state are PYO counties, while smaller counties often outsource programming.

Collier and Benton Smith, legal council for the Arkansas Democratic Party, both said they were discussing reducing the font size on the election day ballot minutes before the party issued a press release titled "Elections in White County Compromised Due to Election Commission Mistake" early Tuesday evening. Smith said he was not aware of the release until after it was issued.

Collier and Rogers confirmed that they have not spoken since early voting began.

"Since the day this started, I have not heard from Tiffany Rogers, so to the extent she says 'they're saying,' I don't know who she's talking about," said

Collier, a Democrat. "(Wednesday) morning, I text messaged a copy of the ballot to Mr. Smith. If she alleges the story keeps changing, there must be a breakdown in communication on her end."

Smith confirmed that he and Collier had been working toward a solution since the problem was brought to light.

"As far as I'm concerned, that's fair and equitable," said Smith, who served as a Craighead County election commissioner for eight years. "It has the names of both candidates, as it should be. I know there were some technical issues after talking to Chairman Collier. I and the Democratic Party of Arkansas appreciate the White County Election Commission and their service."

Candace Martin, spokesman for the Arkansas Democratic Party, said the party is pleased the issue will be resolved on election day, but she is still concerned about early voting.

"That definitely seems to be something good to look forward to on election day," she said. "I do think that concerns still remain about the early vote period and the error that was made it not including the entire name of the candidate."

Rogers said she has not ruled out legal action against the commission.

"I can't really tell you right now," she said. "We obviously reserve the right to look at it from every angle. A lot of things were done wrong."

Collier, an attorney, said he is confident that the commission has done all it can to correct the issue.

"From a legal standpoint, we feel as if we have gone above and beyond to accommodate Representative Rogers and won't let the threat of a lawsuit discourage us from doing what we think is fair, and that is changing the ballot as we've proposed to do and posting a clarification in every voting machine," he said. "We feel good about our legal standing."

Dismang said he believes the situation has been handled in a fair manner.

"I appreciate them working through it," he said. "In the end, I don't think it has any impact on the election. I'm glad they found a solution."

The election commission will hold a public meeting at 4 p.m. Monday to discuss the ballot change. The meeting will be held at a White County office building on 2301 Eastline Road in Searcy.

Senate District 28 encompasses southeastern White County, including Searcy, Kensett, Higginson, Beebe, West Point, Griffithville, Garner and McRae. The district also includes all of Prairie County and portions of Lonoke, Monroe, Arkansas and Woodruff counties.