Vote smart with ballot voter guides from the Division of Agriculture
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Sept. 23, 2016
- Voter guide now available at www.uaex.edu/ballot
- Ballot issues voter guides to be available from county extension offices
- Companion video at https://youtu.be/TKr_daKWp3Q
LITTLE ROCK – Longer terms, medical marijuana and whether the governor still retains powers when he’s out of state are among the seven issues that voters will face when they go to the polls Nov. 8.
To help voters navigate the complexities 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 voter guides on each ballot item.
The voter guides, available for download or through the local county extension office, are edited by a coalition of experts to ensure they are neutral presentations of the ballot issues. Drafts of the voter guide are made available to proponents and opponents for comment and review before they are printed, as part of a vetting process to ensure the information is an unbiased representation of the issue and the arguments by proponents and opponents.
“Ballot issues can be confusing,” said Stacey McCullough, director of the Public Policy Center. “During an election year, voters are bombarded with advertising and various opinions through media and social media. We wanted to create an easy-to-understand, easy-to-digest guide to the issues and what supporters and opponents are saying.
“We want voters to feel confident in making their choices this November,” she said.
The voter guides may be found at www.uaex.edu/ballot. The left-hand navigation from that page allows voters to read up on each issue separately. The ballot voter guides, bound into a convenient booklet, are available at the local county extension office. (To find a county office near you, visit: http://uaex.edu/counties/default.aspx).
As there are often legal challenges to issues on the ballot, the issues may change come election day. As of Sept. 19, the issues and their popular titles are:
- Ballot Issue 1 - An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning the Terms, Election, and Eligibility of Elected Officials
- Issue 2 - A Constitutional Amendment to Allow the Governor to Retain His or Her Powers and Duties When Absent from the State
- Issue 3 - An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion, and Economic Development
- Issue 4 - An Amendment to Limit Attorney Contingency Fees and Non-Economic Damages in Medical Lawsuits
- 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.
- Issue 6 - The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016
- Issue 7 - The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act
The Public Policy Center was established in 2004 to provide Arkansans with timely, credible, unbiased and research-based information and education about public issues. The center’s goal is to increase citizen knowledge, awareness and understanding of public issues and to enhance public participation in decisions regarding those public issues.
Find the Public Policy Center online at www.uaex.edu/ppc. The Public Policy Center is now on Facebook at facebook.com/uappc. The center frequently sends out ballot updates via e-mail. Sign up for ballot issues updates by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service