State Rep. resigns, pleads guilty to election fraud conspiracy

(KATV & AP) -- A state representative resigned Wednesday after he, his father and two campaign workers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit election fraud.

Rep. Hudson Hallum (D-Marion) along with Kent Hallum, West Memphis Councilman Phillip Wayne Carter and West Memphis Police Officer Sam Malone acknowledged in court that they participated in a conspiracy to bribe voters to influence absentee votes in the Arkansas District 54 primary, runoff and general elections in 2011.

Candace Martin, spokesperson for the Arkansas Democratic Party, said in a written statement Wednesday,

"We are disappointed by the actions taken by Rep. Hallum. The sanctity of our elections and the rights of voters to see that every vote is counted fairly and responsibly are some of the basic, fundamental liberties of our democracy. No threat to those liberties can or should be endured. Hudson Hallum is taking responsibility for his actions and we hope that will help resolve things in a way to see that such activities will never be tolerated."

Hallum didn't respond to phone messages seeking comment and House officials said he hadn't spoken with House Speaker Robert Moore.

Former Harlem Globetrotter and Green Party nominee Fred Smith is the only candidate left to compete for the seat since no Republican is running.

Click here for Justin Lewis' in-depth look at this story and how Rep. Hallum's resignation may affect ballots this fall.