Arkansas Elections

Libertarian Party of Arkansas Chair Michael Pakko with over 15,000 signatures to be submitted to the Secretary of State's office for ballot access. May 2016.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

For the fourth consecutive election cycle, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas plans to deliver petitions to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office on Monday to become a “new political party” for the 2018 election.

Because the party failed to win 3% of the electoral vote in the 2016 presidential race that swept Republican nominee Donald Trump into the White House, Arkansas law requires a new political party to collect 10,000 valid voter signatures during a 90-day period.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers have approved a measure requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, sending to the governor's desk a requirement that was struck down as unconstitutional more than two years ago.

The House had already approved a previous version of the legislation. On Monday, it signed off on changes added by the Senate that allow voters without identification to cast a provisional ballot if they sign a sworn statement.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers are putting a voter ID measure on the ballot next year as they try to reinstate a requirement that was struck down by the state Supreme Court more than two years ago.

The Senate on Tuesday approved by a 24-8 vote a plan to put the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot. The proposed amendment says the Legislature shall approve a law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas House has passed a resolution that, if approved by voters, would require residents to present photographic identification in order to vote.

A proposed constitutional amendment by Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum would also require the state to issue IDs at no charge to eligible voters if they don't already have one.

Lundstrum says the measure approved by the House on Thursday will help ensure voter security at the ballot.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas House has approved a plan to reinstate a voter ID law that was struck down more than two years ago, with Republicans counting on a mostly new state Supreme Court to uphold the measure.

The majority-Republican House voted 74-12 Tuesday to require voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, easily clearing the two-thirds vote needed to advance. The measure now heads to the majority-GOP Senate.

Arkansas State Capitol
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

It's likely over 2,000 bills will be filed during this legislative session and just over 300 have been filed so far. Legislation impacting special elections, a Blue Ribbon taxes task force, executions, and hand guns were filed on Wednesday.

KUAR will be keeping track throughout this legislative session. A round-up from Wednesday includes:

marijuana
npr.org

Arkansas lawmakers are considering delaying the launch of the first medical marijuana program in the Bible Belt as well as an effort to impose additional taxes on the drug as they work on legislation implementing a medical pot measure voters approved this month.

The ideas are among several lawmakers are discussing for next year's session.

www.c-span.org/

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was spotted at Trump Tower in New York Thursday as the President-elect transitions to serving in the White House. Rutledge arrived at Trump Tower and told a pool of reporters she was there for a "couple of meetings."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday the fact that Republicans now control the White House, Congress and so many governors' mansions has left her "giddy."

Haley and the rest of the Republican Governors Association are meeting this week in Orlando, Fla., to discuss their party's victories last week and how they hope to work with President-elect Donald Trump.

With state voters’ approval of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, state agencies are beginning to develop the infrastructure to regulate the drug.

A day after passage of Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters the state now has “to move very thoughtfully and carefully.” 

“The people voted this in. And I intend to implement it according to the will of the people of Arkansas,” he said.

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