From the editor ... This week we had intended to run a sample ballot in the Villager Journal. However, once the ballot was resized to fit the newspaper the writing was so small it would not have been readable. With the help of the U of A Cooperative Extension Service Public Policy Center, we have attempted to provide you with an easy to understand overview of the five ballot issues to be voted on Nov. 4, as well as local, statewide and national races.
Most voters on Nov. 4 will also be voting electronically, making the paper ballots almost obsolete.
The Cooperative Extension Service worked with people who were FOR and AGAINST each ballot issue to develop an explanation for each of the issues. You can also go to http://ppc.uaex.edu to read opposing and supporting arguments on each issue or contact the local Cooperative Extension Service office.
We hope this information will be helpful, but most importantly, we urge each registered voter to go to the polls and cast your vote on Nov. 4. ~ EH~
Sharp County citizens will join millions of voters across the United States as they head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 4.
Polling sites will be open in Arkansas from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Locally, Sharp County voters will vote for their choice of coroner. Randy McComas, a Democrat, and Doug Wortham, an Independent, are both seeking the position.
Voters in Ward 2 of the city of Ash Flat will select an Alderman for Position 1 on the city council. The three candidates seeking that position are Sue Ross, Ronda L. Renihan and Bryan C. Martin.
Ward 2 Hardy voters will select an alderman for Position 2. Bob Gilliland and Sherri L. Groves are both candidates for this seat.
Ward 4 Highland voters will also select one alderman for Position 1 on the city council. Lawrence (Larry) Allen and Sam Brock are seeking the position.
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D) is being challenged by Green Party candidate Rebekah Kennedy.
There are seven choices on the ballot for President and Vice President of the United States. The Democratic candidates are Barack Obama and Joe Biden; Republican -- John McCain and Sarah Palin; Independent -- Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez; Green Party -- Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente; Party for Socialism and Liberation -- Gloria La Riva and Eugene Puryear; Constitution Party -- Chuck Baldwin and Darrell L. Castle; and Libertarian -- Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root.
Sharp County voters will also see the wet/dry issue on the ballot but these votes will not be counted.
Voters will also be asked to vote FOR or AGAINST five ballot issues.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 -- popular name: An Amendment concerning voting qualifications of voters and election officers and the time of holding General Elections.
This amendment will remove obsolete language from the Arkansas Constitution and allow alteration of poll worker qualifications. It will remove the words "idiot" and "insane" from the Arkansas Constitution; delete reference to poll tax; give the General Assembly authority to determine who will be a voting official; and enhance the Legislature's power to establish the date of elections.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2 -- popular name: 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.
This amendment is about annual Legislative sessions. It will mandate annual sessions of the Arkansas General Assembly; the legislature would continue to meet in regular sessions in odd-numbered years and would begin meeting in fiscal sessions even-numbered years; fiscal appropriation matters would be addressed in both regular and fiscal sessions; and the governor would continue to have authority to call special sessions.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 3 -- popular name: 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.
This ammendment will create a state lottery to support higher education scholarships and grants. It will establish state lotteries to fund scholarships and grants for Arkansas citizens; scholarships and grants would be available for public and private non-profit two-year and four-year colleges and universities; and enable the Arkansas General Assembly to adopt laws to establish, operate and regulate.
Proposed Initiative Act No. 1 -- popular name: An Act providing that an individual who is cohabiting outside of a valid marriage may not adopt or be a foster parent of a child less than 18 years old.
This initiative will place restrictions on adoption and foster parenting. It will make it illegal for any individual cohabitating with another individual outside of a valid marriage to adopt or provide foster care to minors; it applies to both homosexuals and heterosexuals; and applies to all adoptions in Arkansas, including private adoptions of children who have never been in the state foster care system.
Referred Question No. 1, Act 631 of 2007 -- popular name: Arkansas Water, Waste Disposal and Pollution Abatement Facilities Act of 2007.
This issue relates to the issuance of bonds for financing water-related projects. It will authorize the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $300 million over 10 years; bonds would be used to finance and refinance the development of water-related projects; cannot use more than $100 million of the total authority in support of financing or refinancing irrigation facilities; and the repayment will be generated by the fees and service costs to rate payers.
The University of Arkansas Public Policy Center has provided the easier to understand language on the ballot issues. More information, including opposing and supporting arguments, can be obtained by contacting the local Cooperative Extension Service office or online at http://ppc.uaex.edu.
Big Creek -- Fire Station at Calamine, 13 Sullivan Road
Cave -- Community Center Cave City, 120 E. Center Street
Cherokee -- City Hall Cherokee Village, 2 Santee Drive
Davidson -- Liberty Hill Church, 177 Ridge Road
East Sullivan -- Church Building Maxville Community, 1043 Highway 167
Hardy -- Hardy Fire Station, 203 Church Street
Highland -- City Hall Highland, 1662 Highway 62/412
Jackson -- Williford Fire Station, 302 North School Street
North Lebanon -- Williford Fire Station, 302 North School Street
South Union -- Williford Fire Station, 302 North School Street
Lave Creek -- Camp Ground Community Building, 183 E. Campground Road
Lower North -- Fire Station at Wirth, 2082 Highway 175
Upper North -- Fire Station at Wirth, 2082 Highway 175
Morgan -- Center Fire Department, 1649 Highway 354
North Big Rock -- Poughkeepsie Fire Department, 4099 Ark. 58
Strawberry -- Poughkeepsie Fire Department, 4099 Ark. 58
North Union -- Hilltop Community Building, Martin Creek Road
Ozark -- Ozark Acres Clubhouse, 220 South Summit Ridge Drive
Piney Fork -- Faith Assembly of God Church, 2186 Highway 167
Richwood -- Sharp County Courthouse Courtroom, 718 Ash Flat Drive
Scott -- Grange Fire Station, Grange Road
South Big Rock -- Rings Chapel Church, 2917 Highway 58
South Lebanon -- Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, 108 Pleasant Ridge Road
Washington -- Powells Chapel, 449 Powells Chapel Road
West Sullivan -- Sidney Community Center, 246 Ark. 58