Arkansas Elections

marijuana
npr.org

A Little Rock attorney who successfully sued to disqualify a medical marijuana initiative says the Arkansas Supreme Court should reject an attempt by supporters of the measure to have it reinstated on the ballot in next week's election.

Issue 7, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, is dead…or is it? Last week the Arkansas Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, invalidated about 12,000 signatures and consequently the ballot measure. On Monday, Attorney John Wesley Hall petitioned for a rehearing.

Governor Asa Hutchinson radio address
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of Oct. 28, 2016:

Imagine my surprise when I heard the news about issue seven only minutes after going to the polls myself for early voting. I just cast my vote in Rogers when I found out the Arkansas Supreme Court had disqualified one of the marijuana measures.

One of three Legislature-sponsored ballot issues this election is a proposed constitutional amendment “concerning the terms, election and eligibility of elected officials.”

Melissa Fults, leader of the group Arkansans for Compassionate Care, signing paperwork in June while delivering signatures for the proposal to the Secretary of State's office.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court has disqualified a medical marijuana proposal from the November ballot less than two weeks before the election and with thousands of votes already cast, but voters will still be able to consider a competing plan.

File photo. Construction of Big River Steel plant in Mississippi County.
bigriversteel.com

In addition to a citizen-driven ballot question on Medical Marijuana, Arkansas voters are getting to decide on three legislature-sponsored constitutional amendments in this election. One of those, Issue 3, would primarily allow the Arkansas Legislature to approve an unlimited amount of bond money to support new large-scale economic development projects. 

Republican Sen. John Boozman's campaign is spending nearly half a million dollars on a new television ad portraying himself as someone who puts Arkansas first as he enters the final two weeks of the campaign for his re-election. His Democratic challenger has also launched a spot touting his work prosecuting a county judge for corruption.

More than 70,000 voters have cast a ballot early for the general election in Arkansas.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said 22,806 people cast a ballot by late Tuesday afternoon, the second day of early voting in the state for the Nov. 8 election. Martin's office has predicted that potentially 70 percent of the state's 1.7 million registered voters will cast a ballot in the general election.

Arkansas has mostly been overlooked in the increasingly bitter presidential race.

Donald Trump speaking at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump hasn’t seen his poll numbers slide any in the last month, despite controversies and lackluster debate performances. As a matter of fact, the Republican standard-bearer slightly grew his lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the former First Lady of Arkansas’ one-time home state.

In the U.S. Senate race, the contest has tightened between incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman and Democratic challenger Conner Eldridge, but Boozman still maintains a comfortable 18-point lead.

Election voting
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

Two legislatively-referred constitutional amendments have found traction with voters although both have a sizable number of undecided opinions.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows Issue 2 with a majority 52% support, while Issue 3 has a plurality of 35% support. Issue 2 allows the governor to maintain powers when crossing state borders and Issue 3 reworks bond limits on economic super projects and allows government money to support job recruiting efforts and services.

Pages