General Election

On today's edition of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Report, Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics, speaks with Arkansas U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton about his reelection campaign, including not appearing in a debate against his Libertarian challenger Ricky Harrington, and Issues 1, 2 and 3 on the Arkansas ballot.

If Issue 3 is approved, amendments to the Arkansas Constitution would change the process for the submission, challenge and approval of proposed citizen-initiated acts, constitutional amendments and referenda. Proponents say it should be more difficult to change the state's Constitution. Opponents say Issue 3 is trying to trick people into disenfranchising themselves.

A new poll from Talk Business and Politics shows big leads in the state for Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton and President Donald Trump. John Brummett, political writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Roby Brock, with Talk Business and Politics, discuss what this means for the state's overall political makeup.

Issue 2 asks voters to approve changing term limits for the General Assembly described in Amendment 73 of the Arkansas Constitution. The amendment would eliminate lifetime term limits, but require breaks in service for future state senators and representatives.

After having to cancel this year's events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bentonville Soup organizers have released a Bentonville and Benton County-specific voter guide that includes information on candidates running for City Council, Quorum Court, and the state and U.S. House and Senate races. Bentonville Soup is a nonprofit that promotes community-based development by hosting crowdfunding dinner events.

Courtesy / Vote Safe Arkansas

Early voting begins Monday, Oct.19, in Arkansas in advance of the Nov. 3 General Election. Along with a surge in new poll workers, we can expect more poll watchers to be present this cycle. But just who can watch and how they can watch is strictly regulated by state and county election administrators. 

 

According to data published by the Northwest Arkansas Council, the region's diverse populations have increased from making up less than five percent of the overall population in 1990 to nearly 30 percent in 2019. In Springdale, more than half the city's population consists of non-white residents. A person of color has yet to be elected to a city government role, but this election cycle three candidates of color are running for seats on the City Council.

Issue 1, which was referred to the voters by the Arkansas General Assembly, proposes amending the Arkansas Constitution to make permanent a half-cent sales tax that currently helps fund the state's four-lane highway system, county roads and city streets. Proponents say every county will receive funding from the tax, so all Arkansans will benefit.

Courtesy / Kyle Smith

Within hours of the sign going up in early October, vandals scrawled hate speech using black spray paint on a campaign billboard to elect Kyle Smith to Fayetteville City Council. Smith was appointed to City Council three years ago but is also a noted LGBTQ civil rights advocate. No data yet exists, but this election cycle sign vandalism appears to be statewide occurrence. 

The Public Policy Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is providing unbiased election information in an effort to aid voter education. The center shares information about the voting process and ballot issues through a physical voter guide and a website.