2020 Arkansas Statewide Ballot Issues & Referendum
Arkansas is one of 15 states where residents can propose an amendment to the state constitution or refer a state law to voters. Legislators also have the authority to refer up to three amendments to voters.
On this page you will find information about these legislative and citizen-initiated ballot measures. Check back soon for our voter guide.
Similar to past years, court challenges have introduced uncertainty to what ballot
measures will be decided by voter this fall. The Arkansas Secretary of State will certify the official 2020 ballot on Aug. 20,
but lawsuits may not be decided until closer to Election Day.
Two of the legislature's three amendments are being challenged in court. A lawsuit has been filed to remove Issue 2 and Issue 3 from the ballot.
Referendum. A group seeking a referendum on a new state law has already turned in its signatures and has had its ballot title certified. But the measure is being challenged in court.
Citizen-initiated measures are up in the air. Groups submitted three ballot issue petitions to the Secretary of State on July 6. Shortly afterward, the Secretary of State said none of the petitions qualified for the November ballot because of problems with paperwork for the people who collected the signatures. The State Board of Election Commissioners has approved only one of the three ballot titles. These decisions have been challenged.
Proposed 2020 Amendments From the Legislature
Arkansas legislators voted to put three constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Our Arkansas Ballot Issue Voter Guide detailing those proposals will be posted on this web page in September.
Below are links to the wording of the three legislatively-referred ballot measures.
Issue 1: Continuing Sales Tax for Road Construction
HJR1018: An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution continuing a one-half percent (0.5%) sales and use tax for state highways and bridges; county roads, bridges and other surface transportation; and city streets, bridges, and other surface transportation after the retirement of the bonds authorized in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 91.
Issue 2: Changing Legislative Term Limits
SJR15: A constitutional amendment to amend the term limits applicable to members of the General Assembly, to be known as the "Arkansas Term Limits Amendment"
Issue 3: Changing the Citizen-Initiated Ballot Issue Process
HJR1008: A constitutional amendment to amend the process for the submission, challenge, and approval of proposed initiated acts, constitutional amendments and referenda
Referendum On 2020 Ballot
Arkansas' Constitution allows the public to petition for a statewide vote on an act passed by the state legislature. Known as a referendum, this type of statewide ballot measure asks voters for approval or rejection of a new state law.
Arkansas voters may see such a referendum on their November ballot. Safe Surgery Arkansas submitted more than 53,491 valid voter signatures on a referendum petition to the Secretary of State's Office for a vote on Act 579 of the 2019 legislative session. The referendum is being challenged in court.
What Citizen-Initiated Issues Might Be On My Ballot?
Arkansans can propose new state laws or constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot for voters to decide. This can be a complex and lengthy process. The basic steps involve:
- Submitting a name (ballot title) and wording of a proposed constitutional amendment or state law to the Secretary of State's Office.
- Gathering a certain number of voter signatures from at least 15 counties.
- Publishing the ballot issue title in a newspaper by June 3.
- Submitting signatures by July 6 to the Secretary of State's Office to review.
- The Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners certifying the ballot title.
In addition, groups that raise or spend money to support or oppose potential ballot measures must file a Statement of Organization with the Arkansas Ethics Commission and provide quarterly financial updates.
Below are the proposed citizen-initiated ballot issues whose sponsors submitted voter signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State's Office on July 6.
Potential 2020 Ballot Measures From the Public
About Our Materials
Since 2004, the Public Policy Center has published easy-to-read fact sheets on statewide ballot measures so voters have a better understanding of what is being asked of them on Election Day. The fact sheets go through a vetting process that includes reviews by attorneys, subject matter experts and issue supporters and opponents.
What will I find in Extension's ballot voter guide?
- 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
Go Beyond the Fact Sheet
Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter. 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 email@example.com.
What Other Elections are Happening?
Arkansas cities and counties often hold elections throughout the year related to property or sales tax or other important local matters. We provide fact sheets on some local issues by request from our county agents. Find out what some of those past issues are here or contact your local County Clerk for more information about what's on your ballot.
Arkansas Ballot Issues - Fact Sheet Publication Archive
Issue 2 - A Constitutional Amendment Adding as a Qualification to Vote that a Voter Present Certain Valid Photographic Identification when Casting a Ballot In Person or Casting an Absentee Ballot Voters approved
Issue 3 - Arkansas Term Limits Amendment Struck from the ballot
Issue 4 - An Amendment to Require Four Licenses to be Issued for Casino Gaming at Casinos, One Each in Crittenden (to Southland Racing Corporation), Garland (to Oaklawn Jockey Club, Inc.), Pope, and Jefferson Counties Voters approved
Issue 5 - An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Voters approved
Issue 3 - An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion,
and Economic Development Voters approved
Issue 4 - An Amendment to Limit Attorney Contingency Fees and Non-Economic Damages in Medical Lawsuits Struck from ballot
Issue 5 - An Amendment to Allow Three Casinos to Operate in Arkansas, One Each in the Following Counties: Boone County, operated by Arkansas Gaming and Resorts, LLC; Miller County, operated by Miller County Gaming, LLC; and Washington County, operated by Washington County Gaming, LLC. Struck from ballot
Issue 6 - The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 Voters approved
Issue 7 - The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act Struck from ballot
Issue 2 - An Amendment Allowing More Time to Gather Signatures on a State-Wide Initiative or Referendum Petition Only if the Petition as Originally Filed Contained at Least 75% of the Valid Signatures Required Voters approved
Issue 3 - An Amendment Regulating Contributions to Candidates for State or Local Office,
Barring Gifts from Lobbyists to Certain State Officials, Providing for Setting Salaries
of Certain State Officials, and Setting Term Limits for Members of the General Assembly Voters approved
Issue 4 - The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Voters rejected
Issue 5 - An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Voters approved
Issue Number 1 - Providing Additional Funds for State Highways County Roads, City Street, Bridges, and Other Surface Transportation - FSPPC309 (PDF) - An amendment to provide additional funding for state highways, county roads, city streets, bridges, and other surface transportation. [Spanish - FSPPC309SP] Voters approved
Issue Number 2 - Giving Cities and Counties Additional Financing Powers - FSPPC311 (PDF) - An amendment concerning municipal and county financing of sales tax anticipated revenue bond projects, unfunded liabilities of closed local police and fire pension plans, and real and tangible personal property. [Spanish - FSPPC311SP] Voters rejected
Issue Number 3 - An Amendment to Allow Nancy Todd's Poker Palace and Entertainment Venues, LLC to Own and Operate Four Casino Gaming Establishments, One Each in Pulaski, Miller, Franklin and Crittenden Counties. Disqualified; no fact sheet published.
Issue Number 4 - An Amendment to Allow Arkansas Hotels and Entertainment, Inc. to Own and Operate Seven Casino Gaming Establishments, One Each in Sebastian, Pulaski, Garland, Miller, Crittenden, Boone and Jefferson Counties. Disqualified; no fact sheet published.
Issue Number 5 - Making the Medical Use of Marijuana Legal Under Arkansas Law and Creating a System for Cultivation, Acquisition and Distribution - FSPPC310 (PDF) - An amendment to make the medical use of Marijuana legal under Arkansas law and create a system for cultivation, acquisition and distribution. Voters rejected
Issuance of State of Arkansas Federal Highway Grant Anticipation and Tax Revenue Bonds and Pledge of Full Faith and Credit of the State Of Arkansas - FSPPC308 (PDF) - Issuance of State of Arkansas Federal Highway Grant Anticipation and Tax Revenue Bonds and Pledge of Full Faith and Credit of thee State Of Arkansas. Voters approved
Issue No. 1 An Amendment to Provide a Constitutional Right to Hunt, Fish, Trap, and Harvest Wildlife - FSPPC305 (PDF) - An amendment providing that Arkansas citizens have a right to hunt, fish, trap, and harvest wildlife subject to regulations that promote wildlife conservation and management. Voters approved
Issue No. 2 - An Amendment Concerning Interest Rate Limits And The Issuance Of Government Bonds For Energy Efficiency Projects – FSPPC306 (PDF) - An amendment concerning interest-rate limits and the issuance of governmental bonds to finance energy efficiency projects. Voters approved
Issue No. 3 An Amendment to Lower the Threshold For Issuing State Bonds to Attract Major Industries – FSPPC307 (PDF) - An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Amendment 82 removing fixed criteria for the issuance of economic development bonds bearing the full faith and credit of the state of Arkansas and giving the General Assembly the authority to set criteria through legislation. Voters approved
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 - FSPPC301 (PDF) - An amendment concerning voting, qualifications of voters and election officers, and the time of holding general elections. Voters approved
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2 - FSPPC300 (PDF) - An amendment providing that no legislative appropriation shall be for a period longer than one year, providing for fiscal legislative sessions, requiring the General Assembly to meet every year with regular sessions continuing to be held in odd-numbered years and fiscal sessions held in even-numbered years, unless the General Assembly votes to hold regular sessions in even-numbered years and fiscal sessions in odd-numbered years, and allowing the General Assembly to consider non-fiscal matters during a fiscal session upon approval of two-thirds of both houses. Voters approved
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 3 - FSPPC304 (PDF) - A constitutional amendment authorizing the General Assembly to establish, operate, and regulate state lotteries to fund scholarships and grants for Arkansas citizens enrolled in certified two-year and four-year colleges and universities in Arkansas. Voters approved
Proposed Initiative Act No. 1 - FSPPC302 (PDF) - An act providing that an individual who is cohabitating outside of a valid marriage may not adopt or be a foster parent of a child less than eighteen years old. Voters approved
Referred Question No. 1 - FSPPC 303 (PDF) - Arkansas Water, Waste Disposal, and Pollution Abatement Facilities Financing Act of 2007 Voters approved
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 - Bingos and Raffles - PPC001 (PDF) - Proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow Bingo and Raffles to be conducted by charitable organizations and to authorize the General Assembly to adopt laws regulating and taxing charitable Bingo and Raffles. Voters approved
Referred Question No. 1 - Arkansas Higher Education Technology and Facility Improvement Act of 2005 - PPC002 (PDF) - Arkansas Higher Education Technology and Facility Improvement Act of 2005 Voters approved
Referred Question No. 1, Arkansas Interstate Highway Financing Act of 2005 - PIEC001 (PDF) - Arkansas Interstate Highway Financing Act of 2005
Referred Question No. 2, Arkansas Higher Education Technology and Facility Improvement Act of 2005 PIEC002 (PDF) - Arkansas Higher Education Technology and Facility Improvement Act of 2005
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 - To Establish Term Limits for Members of the General Assembly (fact sheet not available) Voters rejected
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2 - An Amendment to Allow the General Assembly to Approve the Issuance of General Obligation Bonds for any Economic Development Project that Plans to Invest More than $500 Million in Capitol Expenditures and to Hire More than 500 New Employees Voters approved
Referred Question No. 1 - Statewide Property Tax for Schools Voters rejected
State Ballot Issue Education Resources
- Extension Blog: Strengthening Arkansas Communities
- PPC Analysis: Citizen-Initiative Ballot Access Requirements by State (Jan. 2019)
- Arkansas Ethics Commission
- Initiative & Referendum Institute (University of Southern California)
- Initiatives and Referenda - The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
- Arkansas Secretary of State's Office
- Election Results for Past Arkansas Ballot Issues
- 2020 Arkansas Initiative and Referenda Handbook
- Voter Turnout by County (2018)
- Voter Turnout by County (2016)