The day is just around the corner to vote in the general election on Nov. 4, and voters need to be aware of what is on the ballot.
Most voters will turn out mainly to vote for the next president of the United States, but there are other items closer to home that voters will need to decide on.
There are seven choices on the ballot for President and Vice President. Running are Barack Obama and Joe Biden (Dem.), John McCain and Sarah Palin (Rep.), Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente (Green), Chuck Baldwin and Darrell Castle (Const.), Gloria La Riva and Eugene Puryear (Socialism and Liberation), Ralph Nadar and Matt Gonzalez (Ind.) and Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root (Lib.).
Arkansas' voters will decide who will represent them in the U.S. Senate. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is running against Rebekah Kennedy, who is running for the Green Party.
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 allowing 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 amendment 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.
Fulton County residents have to choose who will be their county judge. Republican Teresa Justice is running against incumbent Charles Willett, who is on the Democratic ticket.
City of Horseshoe Bend
Voters who live on the Fulton County side of Horseshoe Bend will vote for Alderman, Ward 2 Position 1. Darryl R. Demm and Avis L. Kalinowski are running for the position. They will also vote on Alderman, Ward 2 Position 2. Running for the position are John H. Mosser and Walter Mettler. Clifford Lee Summey is running against incumbent Sonny Minze for Alderman, Ward 3 Position 2. Mac James and Steve Boyer are both running for the Alderman, Ward 4 Position 1. Jess R. (J.R.) Wilson is running against incumbent Ron Flug for Alderman, Ward 4 Position 2. Horseshoe Bend voters will also decide on a city ordinance to allow a bow-only deer hunt inside city limits.
City of Hardy
Hardy voters who live in Fulton County will vote for Alderman, Ward 2 Position 2. Both Bob Gilliland and Sherri L. Groves are running for the position.
City of Ash Flat
Voters who live on the Fulton County side of Ash Flat have three people to choose from in the race for Alderman, Ward 2 Position 1. Sue Ross, Ronda L. Renihan and Bryan C. Martin are all running for the position.
City of Viola
In Viola, voters will choose who will be Alderman, Position 4. Gracie D. Brown and William Duane Barber are running for the position.
Fulton County Polls
Polling sites for the general election in Fulton County are as follows: Afton and Mammoth Spring voters will go to the Mammoth Spring Fire Station on 165 South 2nd Street, Mammoth Spring; Benton and Union voters will go to the Salem City Hall on 120 North Main Street, Salem; Cherokee Village voters will go to the Omaha Center, 20 Omaha Circle, Cherokee Village; Cleveland voters will go to the Byron Community Building, 53 Old School Lane, Salem; Mount Calm voters will go to the Viola School, 314 Longhorn Drive, Viola; Myatt voters will go to the Saddle Community Building, 9171 Highway 289 North, Mammoth Spring; Pleasant Ridge voters will go to the Agnos Community Building, 83 Autumnwood Road, Ash Flat; Southfork and Wilson voters will vote at the Camp Fire Station, 5913 Highway 9 North, Camp; Strawberry residents will go to the Morriston Fire Station #2, 1583 Highway 289 South, Glencoe; Vidette and Big Creek voters will go to the Gepp Fire Station, 389 Highway 87 North; Gepp and Washington residents will go to the Sturkie Fire Station, 5640 Sturkie Road, Sturkie.
Izard County also has a county judge's race. A write-in candidate is facing incumbent Rayburn Finley for the judge's office.
Izard County voters will choose the next sheriff for the county. Walter Roy Hagan, running as an Independent, is running against incumbent Sheriff Tate Lawrence.
Voters in Izard county will also decide on the Justice of the Peace for District 5. Neil Olan (R.) is running against incumbent Justice Clovis Vest (D.).
Izard County Polls
Polling sites for voters in Izard County on Nov. 4 are as follows: Voters who live in the Wiseman precinct in the ICC School District will vote at the Baptist Church; those in the Calico Rock Rural, Calico Rock Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the Calico Rock School District will vote at the Calico Rock City Hall; Sylamore precinct voters in the Melbourne School District will go to the church; those who live in the Dolph precinct in the Calico Rock School District will vote at the Dolph Store Building; voters who live in the Guion City and Guion Rural precincts in the Melbourne at Mount Pleasant School Districts will go to the Guion Community Building; those who live in Horseshoe Bend Rural, Horseshoe Bend Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the ICC School District will vote at the Horseshoe Bend City Hall or the Catholic Church; voters who live in Larkin and Lacrosse in both Melbourne and ICC School Districts will vote at the Lacrosse Community Building; those who live in Mount Pleasant Rural, Mount Pleasant City, Big Spring (both Melbourne at Mount Pleasant and Evening Shade School Districts), Gid and Lafferty will go to the Mount Pleasant Community Building; those who live in Sage (Melbourne and Melbourne at Mount Pleasant School Districts) and Sage in Melbourne Ward 4 will go to the New Bethel Church; voters in the Franklin Rural and Franklin City precincts in the ICC School District will go to the Old Franklin City Hall; those who live in Wideman (both Calico Rock and ICC School Districts), Oxford City and Oxford Rural will vote at the Oxford City Hall; Knob Creek, Melbourne Rural, Melbourne Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 residents will go to Ozarka Technical College to vote; voters in Pineville City and Pineville Rural will go to the Pineville Fire Station; residents in Boswell (both Calico Rock and Melbourne School Districts) will go to the Ruthie Mountain Fire Station; Twin Creek residents will go to either the Ruthie Mountain Fire Station or Ozarka College to vote; those who live in Newburg and Brockwell (both Melbourne and ICC School Districts and in Oxford City) will go to the senior center; Myron residents will go to the Southern Baptist Church Life Center; voters who live in Violet Hill will go to the Violet Hill Gym; Strawberry residents who live in both Evening Shade and ICC School Districts will vote either at the Zion Community Building or the Southern Baptist Life Center; and Zion residents who live in the Melbourne, Evening Shade, Melbourne at Mount Pleasant and ICC School Districts will vote at the Zion Community Building.
Early voting is already underway at both Izard and Fulton County courthouses. Early voting hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday, Nov. 1, the hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The last day to vote early is Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Polling sites on Nov. 4 will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.