2018 Midterm Elections

Sarah Kellogg

Voting is underway in Pulaski County for the runoff election on December 4, and thousands have already cast their ballots.

The Pulaski County Election Commission currently has six voting locations open to the public for early voting. They are: The Sue Cowen Library, the Dee Brown Library, the Roosevelt Thompson Library, the McMath Branch Library, the Jacksonville Community Center and the Pulaski County Regional Building. On Monday, only the Pulaski County Regional Building will be open for early voting.

Election Voters Voting
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

In the days after this week's election, some citizens around the country had problems voting, including in Arkansas. KUAR’s Sarah Kellogg spoke with ACLU Arkansas Legal Director Holly Dickson about the voting issues her office heard about on Election Day.

SARAH KELLOGG: "Looking back to election day, what were some of the main issues that you saw at the polls?"

Frank Scott Jr.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two candidates for Little Rock mayor are advancing to a runoff after none of the five received 40 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election.

Frank Scott Jr. held a lead throughout the evening while Baker Kurrus narrowly defeated Warwick Sabin to come in second. After learning that he was in the runoff, Scott said he was extremely excited.

"I'm emotional, I'm intense, I'm grateful, I'm joyful, humble, and very excited that we led through early voting and Election Day," he said.

Kurrus said he's thrilled to keep fighting.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

During an election night where many governors’ races across the country were considered toss-ups, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson enjoyed a comfortable lead going into Tuesday's election. He easily won re-election against Democratic opponent Jared Henderson.

Hutchinson’s victory was declared early in the evening, winning 65 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results from the Arkansas Secretary of State.

In an interview with KUAR News, Hutchinson outlined a few policies he will be focusing on going forward.

Early Voting
Colton Faull / KUAR News

Early voting locations in Little Rock are seeing a steady stream of people casting their ballots. There was no wait at Williams Library in Little Rock as people trickled in. Katina Nelson, who voted at the Library, said she was motivated to vote in this midterm election because of the results of the 2016 presidential election.

An Arkansas Supreme Court justice says she voted against a pay raise request cited in an outside group's attack mailer that she's trying to get a federal judge to halt.

Justice Courtney Goodson testified Wednesday that she was one of two justices who voted privately against the $18,000 raise the court's chief justice requested from a panel that sets officials' salaries. The panel rejected the request and instead raised justices' pay 2 percent, giving her a $3,330 raise.

According to the study Arkansas voters overwhelmingly approved a minimum wage increase to $8.50 over three years in 2014.
Creative Commons

A new study from the National Employment Law Project shows Arkansas’s economy had strong growth after the state’s minimum wage was increased in 2014. Voters are now deciding whether to raise it again through Issue 5 on next week’s ballot. If passed, it would raise the state's current minimum wage from $8.50 to $11 an hour by 2021.

The report shows that unemployment in Arkansas dropped from 6 to 3.7 percent over the course of three years from 2014 to 2017. Leo Gertner, an attorney with the nonprofit group, says that's one of the lowest rates in the region.

Director of Voter Protection, Camille Bennett, speaking at a press conference Thursday at the Democratic Party of Arkansas's headquarters.
Colton Faull / KUAR News

Four day into early voting in Arkansas, the state’s Democratic Party raised concerns Thursday about voting issues. Speaking to reporters at the state party headquarters in Little Rock, party leaders said they were concerned about voter identification requirements, improper voter purges and incorrect ballots.

The party has created a voter protection hotline for people who encounter any problems. The number is 501-246-0060.

Susan Inman is the democrat candidate that was left off Garland County's early voting ballot Monday morning.
Image via Susan Inman for Secretary of State's Facebook Page

Garland County election officials say they have corrected a mistake that led to the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State not being listed on the ballot. Three early voting locations in the county were were closed for a breif time Monday, which was the first day of early voting.

222 ballots had been submitted without Susan Inman’s name on it, according to Gene Haley, chairman of the Garland County Election Commission. He said the ommission was noticed at 8:15 a.m. 

Arkansas House

The Arkansas Supreme Court has ordered election officials to not count votes cast for a ballot measure that would have imposed the strictest term limits in the country on state legislators.

Justices on Friday disqualified the proposed initiative, ruling that thousands of signatures submitted by supporters were invalid and should not have been counted. The court, however, did not rule on part of the lawsuit challenging the wording of the proposed amendment.

Early voting in Arkansas starts Monday, October 22nd.
Creative Commons

The Pulaski County Election Comission anticpates a higher voter turnout this midterm election compared to 2014. Director of Elections for the Pulaski County Election Comission, Bryan Poe, says in 2014 about 57,000 people turned out for early voting in the midterms, which was  52.6 percent of registered voters in Pulaski County. That's higher than the national average of 40 percent who turn out to vote for a midterm election.