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State Ballot Issues in Arkansas

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Looking for information on Arkansas ballot issues? You can find the wording of each issue and answers to some frequently asked questions in our fact sheets.

Arkansas is one of 18 states where residents can propose an amendment to the state constitution or a new state law. Legislators can also refer up to three amendments to voters.

Many times the wording of these proposals can be confusing and voters aren't sure what's being asked of them. Since 2004, the Public Policy Center has published fact sheets summarizing each statewide ballot issue. 

The summaries are reviewed by attorneys, issue supporters and opponents and subject experts to ensure their accuracy. You will find our fact sheets posted right here in September.

What will I find in Extension's ballot issue fact sheets?

  • How the proposal will appear on the ballot
  • Answers to some basic questions about each issue
  • Reasons why people may support or oppose the proposal 

2016 Arkansas Ballot Issues - Educate Yourself

Arkansas legislators have placed three constitutional amendments on the November 2016 ballot. What will the amendments do? Click on the links below to find out what the legislation says. Then check back in September for fact sheets and links to ballot issues proposed by citizens. 

Go beyond the fact sheet

Request a presentation to your organization or group. Ballot issue education programs can be requested by contacting your local county extension agent or by contacting the Public Policy Center at 501-671-2160. You can also contact the Center by e-mailing

Arkansas Voter Information - News & Publications

  • News & Notes - 2016 Ballot Issue Newsletters

    Group Seeking Spot on Ballot for Medical Lawsuit Rules - May 2016

    When they met in 2015, legislators filed at least nine proposed constitutional amendments concerning legal proceedings in civil cases. None of those proposals made it to the ballot. Now a citizen group, Health Care Access for Arkansans, is seeking a spot on the November ballot for a constitutional amendment that would affect how much money could be collected for medical injuries.

    Supreme Court Selection Process Under Review - April 2016

    Should Arkansas voters stop electing state supreme court judges and turn over the duty to the governor? Legislators in recent weeks have debated this idea and the possibility of referring the matter to voters in the November election.

    Campaign Reports Reveal Ballot Issue Support/Opposition - March 2016

    Before campaign signs ever pop up in yards and street medians, supporters or opponents of a ballot issue register with the Arkansas Ethics Commission to essentially say they will be spending money and time on an election.

    Voters Won't Find Petitions for Every Proposal - February 2016

    When you look at the bottom of this e-mail, you will find a long list of potential ballot issues whose sponsors have the official OK to circulate them for signatures needed to put the issues on the November ballot. But that doesn't mean you will find petitions for all of them

    Groups Busy Gathering Signatures, A Look Ahead - January 2016

    Signature gathering is well underway for issues that could make the November 2016 ballot.

  • News & Notes - 2015 Ballot Issue Newsletters

     Ballot Issues Approved for Signatures up to 10 - December 2015

    The list of possible measures to be decided on in the November 2016 election continues to grow. 

    Second Poll Shows Support for Medical Marijuana - November 2015

    A second statewide poll found growing support among Arkansas residents for allowing marijuana use for medical purposes.

    Do Ballot Issues Make You Pay Attention? - October 2015

    Nearly a year after voting in the 2014 election, can you recall any of the five ballot issues? How about naming any of the 2016 ballot issues?

    Medical Marijuana Subject of Panel Discussion, Poll - September 2015

    Viewers of a Little Rock television station had the opportunity to watch a televised panel discussion about medical marijuana proposals that could wind up on the 2016 ballot.

    Voters Could See More Change to Term Limits - August 2015

    When voters went to the polls in November 2014, they approved a constitutional amendment that allowed legislators to serve 16 years total in the House or Senate in place of the chamber-specific maximum of six years for representatives and eight years for senators.

    Group Ends Effort for Referendum on Act 137 - July 2015

    Arkansans to Protect Local Rights recently ended its effort to put a new state law up for a vote on the 2016 ballot.

    Arkansans See Growing List of Issues from the Public - June 2015

    The list of potential 2016 ballot issues is growing, with the Attorney General's approval of an eighth potential issue last week for signature gathering.

    Signature Collection Underway for Ballot Issues - May 2015

    Multiple groups are in the process of collecting signatures to add their ballot issues to the November 2016 election. One of those groups - Arkansans to Protect Local Rights - doesn't have very long to gather signatures from registered voters. The group is attempting to put Act 137 on the ballot to ask voters whether the law should be kept or discarded.

    Legislature Sends 3 Issues to 2016 Ballot  - April 2015

    For a moment, it seemed as if Arkansans wouldn't have any ballot issues to vote on in November 2016. Legislators had said they couldn't come to an agreement on any of the 41 proposed constitutional amendments and wouldn't refer any of them to the public, the first time that would happen since 1971. But on their last day of the session, legislators came together and agreed on three proposals to send to the public. 

    Legislature Narrowing Down Amendment Priorities - March 2015

    Arkansas legislators are closer to deciding which ballot issues they will refer to voters on the November 2016 ballot. On Friday, members of the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee decided they would recommend five of the 25 constitutional amendments filed by state representatives to a joint committee with the Senate for further review.

    Ballot Deadline Passes for Legislature - February 2015

    Over the next two months, legislators will work their way through dozens of proposed constitutional amendments to come up with the three issues they want to refer to voters in November 2016. 

    Arkansas Legislature in SessionJanuary 2015

    Members of the 90th General Assembly started work Monday at the state capitol. Arkansas legislators will be in session for the next few months proposing and debating bills that could become laws. It's during this time that legislators propose constitutional amendments for the 2016 ballot.

  • News & Notes - 2014 Ballot Issue Newsletters

    Panelists Discuss, Explain Issue 3 - December 2014 

    Less than five hours after the polls closed Nov. 4, a constitutional amendment approved by voters that very day took effect. A month after the election, Arkansans are trying to better understand the impact of their decision to restrict lobbyist spending at the state capitol, to create a new panel overseeing pay for elected officials, and to make changes to legislative term limits.

    Election Day is Today - November 2014 

    Election Day is here. Polls are open until 7:30 p.m.

    State Supreme Court OKs Minimum Wage Issue for Nov. 4 Ballot - October 2014 

    Arkansans will vote on a proposal to increase the state's minimum wage after the State Supreme Court rejected a request to remove Issue 5 from the 2014 ballot. 

    Early Voting Underway in Arkansas - October 2014

    Arkansans had their first opportunity Monday to cast votes in the 2014 election, which included ballot issues such as the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment that survived a court challenge. 

    Three Issues Still Under Court Review - October 2014

    Opponents of several 2014 ballot issues have taken to billboards, radio and even a State Fair booth to highlight their viewpoints, but voters will have to wait a little longer to find out if Issues 3, 4 and 5 are on the state ballot.

    Fact Sheets on 2014 Ballot Issues Now Available - October 2014

    New ethics rules for state elected officials, statewide alcohol sales and a raised minimum wage are among the five issues voters will be asked to decide upon when they go to the polls on Nov. 4. To help voters understand the complexity of the issues and the arguments on both sides, the Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has developed easy to understand fact sheets on each ballot item. 

    Alcohol, Minimum Wage Make the Ballot But Lawsuit Filed - September 2014

    The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment has enough signatures to make the November ballot, but retailers opposed to the amendment filed a lawsuit earlier this month in an attempt to kick it off the ballot.

    Last Weekend for Ballot Groups to Seek Signatures - August 2014 

    Two ballot groups seeking a spot on the November 2014 general election ballot should know their fate next week. Aug. 21 is the deadline for the Secretary of State's Office to tell local counties what will be on the ballot in terms of ballot issues. 

    Ballot Groups Missed Deadline for Ballot, Attorney Says - July 2014 

    Like many people on July 4, Secretary of State employees had the day off. The state Capitol building was closed. Because of the national holiday, the published deadline to turn in signatures for the 2014 ballot was the following Monday, July 7. This is decades-old practice in Arkansas, but an attorney has asked the Secretary of State's office to throw out thousands of signatures for an alcohol measure because the state Constitution requires petitions to be turned in four months ahead of an election. The real deadline, according to the attorney, was July 4.

    Alcohol Expansion, Minimum Wage Step Closer to 2014 BallotJuly 2014

    Thirty part-time workers are combing through thousands of pages of signatures submitted Monday, July 7 by supporters of expanded alcohol sales and an increase in the state's minimum wage.

    Signature Deadline Looming for Ballot GroupsJune 2014

    Ballot measure groups have less than a month to collect signatures of support necessary to put their proposed laws in front of voters in November. July 7 is the deadline for groups to submit signature petitions to the Secretary of State's office. 

    Gay Marriage Petitioners Weighing Future After Court Ruling - May 2014

    Gay marriage advocates are taking a wait-and-see approach before deciding whether to continue gathering signatures to overturn a 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage after a judge last week found the decade old amendment unconstitutional.

    Voters Polled on Medical Marijuana, Minimum Wage, Ethics/Term Limits - April 2014

    Arkansas voters who were polled in April reported high support for increasing the state's minimum wage, split feelings on medical marijuana and opposition to a legislative-referred issue that includes changes to the state's term limits law.

    Ballot Groups Focusing on Signatures - March 2014

    Over the next four months, Arkansas voters may notice signature collectors at festivals, on street corners or at popular local hangouts.

    Popular Name Issue Resolved - February 2014

    State officials worked past the confusion of who is responsible for writing popular names for legislative ballot issues and released titles Friday of two measures expected to appear on the November ballot.

    Attention Shifts to Proposals From Legislature - January 2014

    Three ballot issues referred from the Legislature have taken an unexpected detour - they are on hold until a popular name can be worked out for the proposed constitutional amendments.

  • News & Notes - 2013 Ballot Issue Newsletters

    Ballot Issue Education Research and Arkansas - December 2013

    The Attorney General hasn't issued any ballot issue opinions since last month's News and Notes, so we're using this month's newsletter to share more information about the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture's ballot issue education program and voting in the state. 

    Group Reserving Marriage Amendment for 2016 Ballot - November 2013

    Legalizing marijuana and same sex marriage continue to dominate the public arena of proposed ballot issues in Arkansas.

    AG's Office Reviews Multiple Ballot Issues October 2013

    Legalizing marijuana and same sex marriage continue to dominate the public arena of proposed ballot issues in Arkansas.

    A Busy Month for Marijuana Proposals - September 2013

    Of the five potential ballot issues the Attorney General has rejected in the past month, four of them have been related to legalizing marijuana for medical use or cultivation. 

    Referendum on Health Care Law Falls Short  - August 2013

    Three ballot issues referred from the Legislature have taken an unexpected detour - they are on hold until a popular name can be worked out for the proposed constitutional amendments.