Voting

Courtesy / Arkansas Secretary of State

A bill that would put new restrictions on absentee voting in Arkansas has advanced to the full House for a vote. Among a number of changes to the current system, House Bill 1715 from Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, would lower the number of absentee ballot applications a person can obtain without opening them up to allegation of voter fraud. Opponents say the bill doesn't seek to fix any actual issues with absentee voting.

Courtesy / Citizens First Congress

Arkansas state Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, has filed Senate Bill 485, which would reduce voting hours on Saturdays and close voting centers and polling places in Arkansas on Mondays before Election Day. Hammer says his measure will allow county election commissions to better prepare for Election Day, as well as check for any voting irregularities. Arkansas voting rights advocates claim such a law will make it harder to early vote.  

 

Courtesy / U.S. Election Assistance Commission

Ben Hovland, a Carroll County, Arkansas native who chairs the independent bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission, has come forward to counter allegations made by President Trump that the 2020 presidential election was rigged to favor President-Elect Joe Biden. Hovland attributes a fair, accurate and record voter turnout — despite a raging pandemic — to thousands of dedicated bipartisan state and local election officials and volunteer poll workers. 

Courtesy / Evelyn Rios Stafford

Governmental bodies are becoming more diverse in some communities around the state. While the 15-member Washington County Quorum Court is losing one Hispanic Justice of the Peace, it’s gaining two more—Kenny Arredondo Loyola and Evelyn Rios Stafford. The latter also has the distinction of being the first openly transgender Arkansan elected to office in the Natural State.

Courtesy / Richard Quick Photography

Last Tuesday, voters in Eureka Springs decided several controversial ballot measures and contested City Council races framed by economic and residential interests. We gather analysis from local business owner and retired Carroll County Justice of the Peace, Lamont Richie.

Following last week's General Election, Republicans continue to hold a majority in both the Arkansas House and Senate. Roby Brock, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, and John Brummett, a political writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, discuss what that means for the few Democrats in the legislature, as well as the upcoming redistricting in the state.

J. Froelich / KUAF

Spontaneous gatherings and celebrations took place across Arkansas this weekend after Joseph R. Biden Jr. was declared 46th President of the United States and his running mate, Kamala D. Harris, elected the 49th Vice President, surpassing the required 270 electoral votes. In this audio montage, we hear people's reactions in Fayetteville's historic district and downtown.

Courtesy / Holiday Island Citizens for Incorporation

A majority of voters living in Holiday Island, established in the 1970s as an unincorporated resort community in northern Carroll County with a population of around 2,300, decided to incorporate as a town, elect their first mayor and city council. We speak with Mayor-elect Dan Kees about the incorporation process.

Courtesy / Kevin Flores

Kevin Flores made history this week in Springdale as the first person of color to get elected to the City Council. After immigrating from El Salvador in the mid-1990s as a child, Flores grew up in Springdale, went on to serve in the Marine Corps, and is now an attorney. He beat incumbent Rick Evans with 57 percent of the vote.

Courtesy / Arkansas United

Several diverse candidates ran for office across the state. Some have won elections and will now serve on city councils, quorum courts or in the Arkansas Legislature. Leading up to the election, Arkansas United also made numerous efforts to encourage minority communities to turn out to at the polls.

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