Cards promoting Democratic Party candidates in the November general election that have been placed in or on mailboxes are illegal, according to a supervisor for the U.S. Postal Service at Pine Bluff.

Cards promoting Democratic Party candidates in the November general election that have been placed in or on mailboxes are illegal, according to a supervisor for the U.S. Postal Service at Pine Bluff.


Cindy Thompson said the only people allowed to place items in or on mailboxes are postal employees, and persons who violate that could be fined up to $10,000 per piece.


At the least, persons distributing the cards could be required to pay the minimum postage on each piece distributed, she said.


The cards in question bear pictures of President Obama and the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the front and urge recipients to "Vote Democratic" and to vote early at the county courthouse.


On the back, the cards say "Vote the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Slate," and list the names of Democratic Party candidates for U.S. Senate, 4th District Congress, as well as all the state constitutional offices. Also, the card encourages recipients to vote for Democratic Party candidates Sheriff Gerald Robinson, Quorum Court candidates Eric Hobbs and Jack Jones, and Pine Bluff alderman candidates Thelma Walker and Glen Brown Jr.


Not listed on the cards are the names of Pine Bluff Alderman candidates Bill Brumett and Steven Mays, both Democrats, who are each facing an independent candidate on Nov. 4.


The cards do not identify the group or individual responsible for having them printed and distributed, and Thompson said that makes it difficult to find the person or persons responsible and hold them accountable.


The issue was raised Monday when incumbent Ward 2 Alderman Wayne Easterly contacted The Commercial after hearing reports that they had been put on mailboxes in the Rosswood Colony area, Deerfield, Indian Hills and other areas in his ward.


Teresa Jones, fiscal officer for the Arkansas Ethics Commission said state statutes that require the identity of persons or groups paying for political advertising in print media, as well as electronic media (radio and television) do not address campaign material such as the cards or other campaign material.


Ted Davis, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Central Committee, said the cards did not originate with the county party organization.


"I have no knowledge of it," Davis said.