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story.lead_photo.caption Becky Lewallen

FAYETTEVILLE — Washington County Clerk Becky Lewallen, a Republican, filed for re-election Thursday.

“I believe my 16 years experience in the clerk’s office is a great benefit to the citizens of Washington County,” Lewallen said. “I want to continue to implement efficient ways to serve the public.”

Lewallen, 36, of Fayetteville started working at the County Clerk’s office at age 20 and was elected collector in 2012.

Democrat Emily Sledge filed to run against Lewallen. The candidate filing period ends Thursday. The primary elections are May 22.

The county clerk is the official bookkeeper of county government. Duties include handling voter registration, recording and issuing marriage licenses and some certificates, and keeping records for the Quorum Court, equalization board and circuit probate court.

The position pays $109,447, according to the 2018 budget. The salary is based on Lewallen’s experience and state law.

Lewallen said she has focused on making voting easier. In 2013, she bought electronic poll books, which led to the county’s ability to operate voting centers, she said.

The county first used voting centers in 2015. Before that, voters cast ballots only at polling sites in their precincts. Any resident in the county can vote at any center.

“It’s never been easier to vote,” Lewallen said.

Lewallen is a Washington County native who graduated from Elkins High School and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Lewallen said she always looks for ways to improve the office. For example, her office uses a statewide software system to scan probate court documents and put them online. Next year, the office expects to have access to state software allowing electronic candidate filing, Lewallen said.

State officials said previously they plan to give Washington County electronic filing capabilities.

Lewallen said she also strives to keep her office welcoming and nonpartisan.

Scarlet Sims can be reached by email at or on Twitter @NWAScarlets.

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