Arkansas Elections

Susan Inman
AETN

A former state and local elections official says she's making another run for Arkansas secretary of state.

Susan Inman announced Tuesday she's seeking the Democratic nomination for the post, currently held by Republican Mark Martin. Martin was first elected to the post in 2010 and is barred from seeking re-election next year because of term limits.

An educator and activist says she's running for a U.S. House seat in central Arkansas, becoming the second Democrat to launch a bid to unseat the district's incumbent Republican congressman.

Gwendolynn Combs announced Monday she's filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the 2nd Congressional District.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' revived law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot will be put to the test as soon as it takes effect this week, with early voting beginning for five local sales tax elections.

Voters heading to the polls early in three cities and two counties Tuesday for special elections on sales tax measures will be required to show photo ID before casting a ballot, or sign a sworn statement confirming their identity under the law approved by the Legislature earlier this year.

Mark Martin
Arkansas Times

Arkansas has again submitted some of the information sought by a commission formed by President Donald Trump to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said it had submitted the information Thursday afternoon to the panel after it renewed its request for publicly available information about the state's voters. The state had submitted identical information to the panel earlier this month, but the data was deleted as the commission held off on its requests from the states due to a legal challenge.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A legislative panel has cleared the way for Arkansas to begin enforcing its reinstated voter ID law later this year.

The executive subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council on Thursday approved the state Board of Election Commissioners emergency rule enforcing the new law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. Those without photo identification can sign a sworn statement saying they're registered to vote in the state.

Paul Spencer is running for Congress.
Youtube

It’s now official, Paul Spencer announced on Thursday he is running as a Democrat to unseat Republican French Hill as central Arkansas’s U.S. Representative. The decision comes on the same day Senate Republicans released a revised version of legislation to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act. 

Check out this interview with Spencer when he announced an exploratory committee back in June.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is recommending Arkansas not provide all voter information requested by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. President Trump set up the commission to investigate claims of voter fraud in November's presidential election.

In a statement Wednesday on Twitter, Hutchinson said he has spoken with Secretary of State Mark Martin and concluded the request is "too board and includes sensitive information" about Arkansas voters.

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:

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.

Republicans Celebrate Big Wins in Arkansas

Nov 9, 2016

Election Day proved to be very fruitful for Republicans in Arkansas. Results generally came in as predicted by polling for a state that has turned solidly red while President Barack Obama was in office.

Incumbent Senator John Boozman easily won re-election, as did the state’s four members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Only one of the four had a Democratic challenger.

Boozman says he’s ready to focus on the things that matter to Republicans.

Senator John Boozman will start a second term in the US Senate this January after defeating Democratic challenger Conner Eldridge last night. Boozman says he’s ready to focus on the things that matter to Republicans.

“… Things like the regulatory burden that’s on our businesses, that are putting a wet blanket again and costing us jobs, healthcare cost – the average Arkansan’s seen his premiums go up dramatically with $5,000-$10,000 deductibles. We’ve got to come together and solve those problems,” Boozman said.

marijuana
npr.org

Arkansas has joined the growing list of states where medical marijuana is legal despite warnings from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other opponents who said use of the drug will lead to increased regulatory costs and healthcare woes.

Arkansas Elections: Latest Results

Nov 8, 2016

11:30 p.m.

Arkansas has become the first state in the Bible Belt to legalize medical marijuana.

With their approval of Issue 6 on Tuesday, voters will allow patients with a variety of medical conditions and a doctor's permission to buy marijuana from dispensaries. Patients won't be allowed to grow their own.

Some political leaders said they preferred that Arkansas legislators instead allow a version of the drug that is low in THC, which gives marijuana its high.

10:56 p.m.

Bruce Coleman, GOP, elected State House, District 81, Arkansas.

Listen: KUAR Election Night Coverage

Nov 8, 2016

We have a robust team of local reporters out on the scene working to bring you voting results with context. In our studios providing analysis are political science professor Hal Bass and Gwen Moritz of Arkansas Business.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / Arkansas Public Media

It's Election Day and Arkansans have until 7:30 p.m. to get in line to cast their ballot. The Secretary of State's office has projected high voter turnout and reports early voting totals exceeding the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office says more than 606,000 Arkansans took advantage of early voting, compared to about 452,000 in 2012.

Monday is the last day of early voting and the number of Arkansans that have already cast their ballots has surpassed 2012 levels but over 100,000. More than 452,000 Arkansans early voted in the 2012 presidential election, that number has already exceeded 565,000 this year according the Secretary of State’s office.

“H. Clinton comm. report” by Jon Kennedy depicts Hillary Rodham Clinton and her commission report concerning new educational standards. December 15, 1983.
UALR Center for History and Culture

Many are familiar with the often unsophisticated world of newspaper comic strips but there are some comics with more thought – political and editorial cartoons. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for History and Culture is out with a new virtual exhibit, “No Laughing Matter: Political Cartoons and the Arkansas Historical Perspective.” UALR historian, Dr. Barclay Key, joined KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman this week to talk cartoons.  

Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF News

Election officials across Arkansas are completing last-minute training for poll workers in preparation for next week's general election. And this election cycle presents possible challenges, including potential vigilante poll watchers concerned about a "rigged election."

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.

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.

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.

Early voting
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Early voting got underway in Arkansas Monday, with many voters saying they're ready for this campaign season, and the presidential race in particular, to be done.

"It was a hot mess, quite frankly," Paul Silman said with a laugh, "so I cannot wait for it to be over." He was among a steady stream of people casting ballots at the Pulaski County Regional Building in downtown Little Rock.

Pam Henline said it was important that she come out on the first day of early voting.

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