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Stacey McCulloughAssistant Director-CEDPhone: 501-671-2078Fax: 501-671-2046 Email: email@example.com
by Kristin Higgins - September 14, 2020
Voters headed to the polls or requesting absentee ballots now have access to an online
voter guide on Arkansas’ statewide ballot issues.
The 2020 Arkansas Ballot Issue Voter Guide, published by the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture’s Public Policy Center, is now available at www.uaex.uada.edu/ballot.
Although Election Day is more than a month away, more Arkansans have requested absentee
ballots this year because of COVID-19 concerns. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed
an executive order in August allowing Arkansas voters to use absentee ballots if they
had concerns about their health and COVID-19. County clerks will begin mailing out
absentee ballots Sept. 18. Early voting begins Oct. 19 and Election Day is Nov. 3.
The Public Policy Center has published neutral fact sheets on statewide ballot issues
since 2004 to help voters better understand what is being asked of them.
“Arkansas voters have some decisions to make this fall when it comes to the state
constitution, but in 2020 fashion the status of several ballot issues remains uncertain,”
said Kristin Higgins, a program associate in the Public Policy Center. “Various court
challenges may impact what voters see on Election Day, but we urge voters to research
the issues so they are prepared either way.”
Due to printing deadlines, Higgins said the publication covers six statewide ballot
issues. She said the online guide will be updated to reflect any court decisions.
This year, proposals include five constitutional amendments and a referendum. These
Issue 1 is the only proposed constitutional amendment not being challenged in court.
It was referred to voters by the General Assembly. Opponents are challenging the legislature’s
Issue 2 and Issue 3 in Pulaski County Circuit Court over the wording of ballot titles.
All three citizen-initiated proposals – Issues 4, 5 and 6 – are in court too. The
Arkansas Supreme Court recently ruled that Issue 4 and Issue 5 did not qualify for
the ballot because of problems with certifying canvasser background checks, but a
lawsuit filed in federal court may have revived the two issues. Issue 6 faces the
same canvasser background check certification issue, but the Arkansas Supreme Court
has not ruled yet on whether the referendum qualifies for the general election ballot.
Understanding the issues
Arkansans see the popular name and ballot title of each proposed constitutional amendment
when casting their votes. Every amendment actually includes more information that
is not included on the ballot. Voters can find the full proposals and learn more about
what they would do in the voter guide.
The voter guide includes:
The voter guide is reviewed by University of Arkansas law school professors as well
as issue supporters and opponents before publication.
A limited number of printed voter guide will be available at every county Cooperative
Extension Service office by the first week of October.
Follow the Public Policy Center on Facebook or Twitter for up-to-date information
on the ballot issues, or sign up to receive the center’s ballot issue education newsletter
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.