Arkansas Voters Agree, 2018 Midterm Election Important

Nov 6, 2018

Voters at West Side Baptist Church in Little Rock filling out their ballots. Turnout in Arkansas is high according to the Secretary of State's Office.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Polls in Arkansas closed at 7:30 p.m. for Tuesday’s midterm election. Voting locations around the state were busy.

At one polling location in Little Rock's Capitol View-Stifft’s Station neighborhood, voter Barbara Stafan called this an important election for her because of what she called "the incivility of our country."

Pat Watson, another voter, called this election critical.

"It’s our ability to have a revolution every two to four years," Watson said, adding, "The rise in racism and the invasion of the religious right to totally get rid of the first amendment," as a reason this race is so important.

After campaigning earlier in the day for Warwick Sabin, one of Little Rock’s mayoral candidates, Mike Poe voted.

"Well I did my part as an American for sure, and I always like to come out on election day, and there’s never really a crowd here at the Westside Baptist church on 7th Street where I come to vote," Poe said. "I’ve spent the last hour or so shaking a sign and waving up at Kavanaugh and Markham for Warwick Sabin, who’s right over there, who is the best candidate for mayor and I’m super stoked to be there for [Sabin] and of course vote for Clarke Tucker and Jared Henderson as well. It’s a very important race.” Poe said.

Many voters said President Donald Trump inspired them to vote, even though he’s not on the ballot. State Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb acknowledged that the president is playing a role in this election.

"He certainly considers it a referendum on himself so I’m not gonna to argue with him and his evaluation. Normally an election in the Midterm is a referendum on the president. So historically, that would be accurate," Webb said.

Polls show the president remains popular in Arkansas and Webb expects this to be a good election for Republicans in the state.

In Little Rock, voters are casting ballots in the race for mayor. Candidate Warwick Sabin spent the day waving campaign signs at various polling locations.

Warick Sabin campaigning Tuesday in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

"I feel great, I mean I’m very much at peace because we worked so hard over the last year and a half to get to where we are. There’s not a part of the city I haven’t covered or people I haven’t talked to or issues I haven’t addressed. So I feel like we’ve done everything we can, left everything on the field and I’m hoping for a good result," Sabin said.

At the corner of 12th and University, Frank Scott Jr. was waving one of his signs and cheering on cars who decided to honk their horns.

Frank Scott, Jr. campaigning for Little Rock Mayor Election Day at the corner of 12th Street and University Ave.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

"It has been a long and grueling election cycle the last 14 months, but most importantly, I had the great opportunity to share my vision for my city, and that’s unifying our city and focusing on job growth. So I’m definitely, extremely happy, excited, intense and nervous all at the same time so it’s an emotional roller coaster," Scott said.

Baker Kurrus got in the race in June. Monday afternoon he was at a phone bank at his election headquarters, where he and volunteers were making calling voters. He said why he believes Little Rock residents should vote for him.

Baker Kurrus, candidate for Little Rock Mayor, campaigning at a call center on Election Day.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

"Look at our resumes, listen to all the talk, and then look at the qualifications of the candidates and I hope they’ll look at my resume which has got a background in business and law and problem solving, organizational management. That’s where it’s gonna happen for our city is really putting our city back on track and getting things done and I’ve got a background of changing things, making things different and better and that’s what I’m hoping to do for Little Rock," Kurrus said.

Vincent Tolliver and Glenn Schwarz are also vying for mayor. If none of the candidates gets 40 percent tonight, a runoff election will decide the winner. Statewide, voters are deciding races for all of Arkansas’s four congressional districts and constitutional offices, along with proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage and expand gambling.