This November, voters will decide several ballot issues, including one legislatively referred one. Ballot Issue 2 proposes a state constitutional amendment that requires valid photographic identification to be shown at the time of voting.
Originally, two legislative referrals were up for voter discretion this election year. But Ballot Issue 1, which limited civil lawsuit damages and attorneys fees and shifted power over court room matters from the judicial branch to the legislative branch, was deemed unconstitutional by the courts. It will still appear on ballots, but votes will not be counted.
Processes That Create Ballot Issues
Legislative referral is one of two ways that an issue can make it to the ballot. As the term implies, this type of ballot issue comes from the state legislature, known as the General Assembly here in Arkansas.
The other way that an issue can make it on the ballot is by a process known as voter initiative. The voter initiative process requires petitions with a minimum number of valid voter signatures in support of the issue.
For an overview provided by the State of Arkansas, visit this summary of initiatives and referenda provided by the Secretary of State’s office.
Also link to Arkansas Constitution. Whether in this election or future ones, always give serious thought to the difference between the state’s constitution bersus law (i.e., code or legislation). Of course, any ballot issue is important, as is any law or constitution amendment. But the constitution is a more fundamental document and is more difficult to change than a regular law.
Originally published July 14, 2018. During website maintenance and re-uploads, the original version was damaged and/or lost. When a backup is obtained, this post may be replaced by the earlier version; but that may be a moot point given this post-election update note.