LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Senate candidate Jake Bequette released the following statement after the first public hearing for the lawsuit concerning his name being fraudulently misidentified on thousands of Arkansas ballots:

“Judge Mackie Pierce called the situation ‘deeply troubling,’ and rightfully so. Several weeks have passed since the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office and multiple county election officials knew my name was going to be wrong on thousands of ballots, and the situation has still not been fixed in all 75 Arkansas counties. Election officials initially told my campaign that the problem could not be fixed, period. Now, they’re claiming that the errors will be fixed in a matter of days. President Ronald Reagan famously said, ‘Trust, but verify.’ As this debacle continues to unfold, I’m skipping the ‘trust’ and going directly to ‘verify.’

I continue to call on Secretary of State John Thurston and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to investigate this election fraud and not allow it to be swept under the rug any longer. As Judge Pierce noted, state and county election officials started scrambling to fix the ballots and voting machines not after they first learned of the errors on April 28th, but only after we filed our lawsuit. This fight is only just beginning, and I will always stand up for the people of our state and the integrity of our elections.”