Understand the issues before going to the poll
The Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is making available fact sheets about the complex ballot issues voters will face when they go to the polls on Nov. 6.
"Our ballot issues this year are complicated," said Tom Riley, director of the Public Policy Center. "These are challenging to keep up with and knowing who's for it, who's against it and why."
It's important to understand these issues because they have the potential to add new laws or alter the Arkansas Constitution, he said.
Now available for download are:
--Issue Number 1--Providing Additional Funds for State Highways County Roads, City Street, Bridges, and Other Surface Transportation, FSPPC309 (PDF), http://ppc.uaex.edu/ballot/FSPPC309.pdf;
--Issue Number 2--Giving Cities and Counties Additional Financing Powers, FSPPC311 (PDF), http://ppc.uaex.edu/ballot/FSPPC311.pdf;
--Issue Number 5--Making the Medical Use of Marijuana Legal Under Arkansas Law and Creating a System for Cultivation, Acquisition and Distribution, FSPPC310 (PDF),
"In creating these fact sheets, we try to do as thorough a job as possible to understand the implications of the issue," Riley said."Have the circumstances changed? What are the needs? What are the issues raised?"
"We try to understand the strongest arguments that both the opponents and proponents have and put those out in front of the people to give them a better understanding of the choice," Riley said.
Hard copies of the fact sheets will be available at county extension offices in the next two weeks. Libraries are also popular locations to find a copy.
Publication of a fact sheet about a proposal to bring casinos to Arkansas is pending a decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court on whether the issue should be on the ballot.
Drafts of the fact sheet are made available to proponents and opponents for comment and review before they are printed, as part of a vetting process to ensure the information is an unbiased representation of the issue and the arguments by proponents and opponents.
For more information on ballot issues, visit http://ppc.uaex.edu, or contact your local county agent. The Public Policy Center was established in 2004 to provide Arkansans with timely, credible, unbiased and research-based information and education about public issues. The Center's goal is to increase citizen knowledge, awareness and understanding of public issues and to enhance public participation in decisions regarding those public issues.