Early voting starts Monday
On Monday, six polling places will open in Sebastian County. Polls will be open on weekdays until Nov. 2, the day before Election Day.
Sebastian County is one of a few counties in Arkansas that allows voters to go to any polling site in the county, not just the one in their precinct.
The six polling site in Sebastian County are:
- Sebastian County Courthouse — Room G8
- Greenwood Sebastian County Fairgrounds
- Elm Grove Community Center
- Rye Hill Baptist Church
- Creekmore Community Center
- Ben Geren Park Tornado Shelter
The sign at Ben Geren has advertised that early voting started on Tuesday, but according to Sebastian County Election Commission Coordinator Meghan Hassler, that was a typo and the tornado shelter will be open on Monday.
There are 31 voting centers on Election Day in Sebastian County and six early voting centers Oct. 19-Nov. 2 except Sundays.
While voters in the Lavaca area will still have the Lavaca Baptist Church as a polling center, there was one other low-turnout polling center in Lavaca that could not be staffed sufficiently for this election, according to Hassler.
For more information for Election Day polling places, go to https://www.sebastiancountyar.gov/Early_Voting.
Each ballot will start with instructions on how to select their candidate of choice followed by the elections in their precinct. The order of the questions explained here is based on the sample ballots put on Sebastian County Clerk’s website. There are 117 precincts in Sebastian County.
The first question, and the one with the most attention, is that of the presidential election. There are 13 candidates and their running mates listed on the ballot in Arkansas. On the sample ballots, Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen tops the list while Democrat Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump are close to the bottom of the list.
The next question is for U.S. Senate between Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington Jr and Republican Senator Tom Cotton. This race is statewide and is for one of two seats for Arkansas in Washington, D.C.
The questions then go to the U.S. Congressional race. Sebastian County is split between Districts 3 and 4. In District 3, the race is between Republican Representative Steve Womack, Democrat Celeste Williams and Libertarian Michael Kalagias. Libertarian Frank Gilbert, Democrat William Hanson and Republican Representative Bruce Westerman are on the ballot for District 4.
The Circuit Judge District 12 Division 6 race is between Greg Magness and Rita Howard Watkins. This is a nonpartisan race.
There are several districts with Justice of the Peace races. District 7 is between Republican Justice Jim Medley and Libertarian William Whitfield Hyman. In District 11, the race is between Democrat Linda Willsey Murry and Libertarian Zach Mulson. Democrat Jo Elsken runs against Republican Rebekah Schwartz in District 12. District 13 is between Libertarian Brian Leach and Republican Lorie Ann Glidewell Runion.
State Representatives are also on the ballot this year. Representative Jay Richardson of District 78, Representative Lee Johnson of District 75 and Representative Marcus Richmond of District 21 are running unopposed. District 76 has Democrat Caleb Harwell challenging Republican Representative Cindy Crawford. Republican Representative Justin Boyd and Libertarian Stephen Edwards are in the race for District 77. In District 74, Democrat June Anteski is running against Republican Representative Jon Eubanks.
In Greenwood, the Ward 3 Position 2 election is between Lora Lea Rice and Councilman Ralph Meeker Jr.
There is a question that allows the voter to vote for all unopposed candidates.
The next section of the ballot is for issues that are state-wide. Issue 1 is regarding a one-half percent sales tax that would go towards roads and infrastructure. This is a tax currently in place until June 2023 and this amendment would make it permanent.
Issue 2 would limit the number of years a state legislator elected before Jan. 1, 2021, to 16 consecutive or non-consecutive years. However, an added section to the proposed amendment states that after a four-year hiatus, members of the General Assembly can “be eligible for subsequent service.” This issue states that members elected after Jan. 1, 2021, can serve 12 consecutive years and then must take a four-year hiatus before running again.
Issue 3 is in relation to amendments to the state constitution. Many of the changes in this amendment are spelling and clarification issues. The section entitled “Amendment to Petition” would be repealed and the deadline for amendments would be April 15 of the year in which it would be voted.
Issue 6 has been disqualified from the ballot in accordance with the decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court and will not be counted in this election.
The final question on the ballot is for the UAFS one-fourth percent sales tax. The Times Record has previously reported on the economic impact of UAFS and the opposition to the extension of the sales tax.