Arkansas Elections

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Pulaski County Election Commission is asking a judge to deny the Arkansas Republican Party's request to intervene in a lawsuit over the way absentee ballots are handled under the state's new voter ID law.

The commission on Monday asked a Pulaski County judge to reject the GOP's effort to help defend a state panel's decision to allow absentee voters who don't submit a copy of their photo identification with their ballot additional time to turn in their ID.

The commission is suing the state Board of Election Commissioners, saying the state board overstepped its bounds.

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it legal to produce and sell alcohol in all 75 Arkansas counties will have to try again for approval of the wording of their ballot item. The state attorney general's office on Tuesday rejected the wording of the proposed Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment. The drive for the amendment is being organized by attorney David Couch. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office said the proposal had ambiguities in its wording.

Craighead County election officials are closely watching a Pulaski County lawsuit regarding Arkansas' voter identification law.

The law was passed last year over Gov. Mike Beebe's veto. It allows in-person voters who don't show identification at the time of voting until Monday after the election to present proper IDs to the election commission to have their votes counted. But it makes no mention of a similar grace period for absentee voters.

marijuana
npr.org

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana in the state.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office on Friday said the measure by Arkansans for Medical Cannabis contains ambiguities in its text.

McDaniel's office says the proposal doesn't clearly define the term "legal residents" and is unclear what regulatory authority, if any, the Legislature would have over the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale and use of marijuana.

Pulaski County voters will get to decide whether to allow a 1.9-mill property tax increase in a special election to provide additional funding for Pulaski Technical College. The two year college is seeking to create a tax district to generate approximately 11 million dollars in annual revenue.

The special election will be held Tuesday. The 1.9 mill increase would amount to about 38 dollars per 100,000 dollars of a property's assessed value.

marijuana
npr.org

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has again rejected a proposed ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in Arkansas.

McDaniel said in an opinion released Thursday that there are ambiguities in the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment submitted by Marjorie LeClair of Shirley. McDaniel must certify the proposal before supporters can begin gathering the signatures needed to place it on the ballot. 

The proposal calls for repealing state laws related to the cannabis plant.

Arkansas legislators are trying to figure out how to clear the way for three proposedconstitutional amendments to appear on the ballot this November, after a new law made it unclear who is in charge of preparing the ballot measures' language.

A joint House and Senate panel is scheduled to discuss on Thursday how to prepare the measures' "popular name" that will appear on the ballot after a new law took away the attorney general's authority to do so. The law affects three proposed constitutional amendments that the Legislature voted last year to put on the ballot.

A former state representative who pleaded guilty in 2012 to conspiring to commit election fraud in a scheme that included destroying ballots and for exchanging money and food for votes has accepted $2,500 in fines and letters of warning and of caution from the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The offer to former Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion is in a letter dated Dec. 20 that was released Monday by the commission.

Phone calls to numbers listed for Hallum rang unanswered.

Starting this New Year, Arkansan voters will be required to present photo identification at their polling places in order to cast a ballot. The Arkansas Legislature passed the photo id law earlier this year, following a trend set by other state houses around the country. Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane says some voters will need id as early the second week of January, when some elections are set to take place.

Robinson
Flickr

Voters in Little Rock are considering a proposal to pay for up to $73.5 million in renovations to the city's Robinson Center Music Hall.

Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The plan asks voters to dedicate a portion of the city's existing 2 percent restaurant and hotel tax to repay bonds for the project.

The tax had been used for the construction of the Statehouse Convention Center, and those bonds are about to be retired.

The music hall in downtown Little Rock was built in 1939 and hasn't had any major renovations.

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