The voters have spoken, and it’s past time to honor their wishes. Do the right thing, Jim Sorvillo. Pack it in.
Jim Sorvillo is still at it. The three-term state representative from west Little Rock who narrowly lost his seat in the November 3 election refuses to go quietly into the night. Instead, Sorvillo is throwing money at an extensive menu of dubious legal challenges, all but one of which already reached dead ends.
The Pulaski County Election Commission and the Arkansas Secretary of State already recognize Ashley Hudson as the winner. So do her fellow House members, who signaled her acceptance by assigning her to committees and giving her a desk.
So far, none of these glaring indicators registers with Sorvillo, who added to his legal team this week. Sorvillo wants the AR Claims Commission to bar Ashley Hudson from claiming her seat and to grant him a do-over election. In the meantime, Sorvillo requests that he get to stay on as District 32 state representative.
Obviously, that’s not how any of this works. Voters vote, and those votes count, no matter who likes it or who doesn’t. In District 32, the voters have spoken.
It’s time for some tough love and a direct appeal: Jim Sorvillo, if you’re listening, please hear us out. We’ve moved on. It’s time you do, too. Here are three reasons why.
The Writing is on the Wall. You’ve tried three times now to get the courts to do for you what voters did not. Two Pulaski County Circuit Court judges turned you away. You withdrew your appeal at the state Supreme Court.
All that’s left standing is your grievance with the Arkansas Claims Commission, where a three-member committee is set to hear the case on January 4, with the goal of wrapping up in time for the Jan. 11 swearing in for members of the 93rd General Assembly. What might happen in this non-traditional forum is anyone’s guess. But it seems unlikely that a three-person committee will overrule a decision made by nearly 17,000 voters, especially when no one seems to have any evidence of fraud.
Messy =/= Fraudulent. It’s bound to be frustrating to lose by 24 votes. Especially after a counting process that spanned two weeks and dragged candidates up and down dizzying ramps of hope and despair.
And yes, the process wasn’t perfect. It never is. The Pulaski County Election Commission erred on the conservative side, throwing out an unknown number of perfectly fine absentee ballots they should have counted. The tedious paperwork requirements for submitting absentee ballots felt a lot like the literacy tests of Jim Crow days. But eligibility to vote isn’t based on how well one checks boxes or fills in blanks.
It’s a truth and a shame that good votes got tossed. But since the majority of ballots sent in from home skewed for Hudson, counting these ballots could only widen the spread in Hudson’s favor.
On the flip side, the box of mistakenly counted disqualified absentee ballots could not possibly have thrown the race to Hudson. It’s just math.
We’re Better Than This. Asking the courts to overturn the will of the people is the desperate ploy of craven dictators. We don’t do that here.
You served as a state representative for 8 years, by the will of the people. Now, the people want something different. And they’re the ones who get to decide.
Critics have accused you of venue shopping, hopping from court to court in hopes of finding one to rule in your favor. It’s possible you could keep going until you find a sympathetic ear or until your opponents run out of money to keep fighting.
But we suspect you already know that the this race was decided on November 3 by the only rightful judges, the voters. The people of District 32 did their duty. The voters have spoken. Now it’s time for you to do your duty and respect their wishes.