Jefferson County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson is one of three clerks in Arkansas who did not attend new mandatory training as required by law.

Jefferson County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson is one of three clerks in Arkansas who did not attend new mandatory training as required by law.


Johnson said she or a designee will attend the training.


"I follow every law. I am receptive to it," Johnson said.


Justin Clay, director of the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners, said Johnson or her designee will need to attend a make-up session.


"They are required to be trained," Clay said. "We are literally scheduling those with other counties."


The Arkansas Legislature passed the Election Commissions Integrity Act mandating this training. Clay said the act covers procedural issues during early voting. The law specifies what people who work as poll workers, county clerks and election commissioners are permitted and prohibited from doing in relation to people who are running for office.


Jefferson County Board of Election Commission Secretary Stu Soffer — in an email — drew attention to the fact that Johnson has not completed the training. Soffer said all Jefferson County election commissioners and the coordinator have successfully completed this training.


Clay said an initial memo was sent via email Aug. 25, 2015, to all county clerks regarding county clerk training and another memo was sent last week to those clerks who had not yet signed up for or attended one of the scheduled trainings. He said nine trainings were conducted from Oct. 23 to Dec. 3.


In other news, Johnson said she stopped charging people $1 to issue a replacement voter identification card. She declined to specify if she took this action because an Arkansas Secretary of State spokesman said the National Voter Registration Act and Amendment 51 of the Arkansas Constitution prohibit clerks from charging money to issue a card.


In November, Johnson defended her practice of charging money, saying she was following her predecessors.


"I have been here for 15 years," Johnson said Friday. "It may be several years between when I issue one replacement card and another replacement card. We are not charging [anymore]. It is not that important because we do not do it that often. We do not make money from voter registration."