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Amendments on 2020 ballot

By submitted, 08/21/20 10:24 AM

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT REFERRED TO THE PEOPLE BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Issue No. 1

(Popular Name)

An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Continuing a One-Half Percent (0.5%) Sales and Use Tax for State Highways and Bridges; County Roads, Bridges and Other Surface Transportation After the Retirement of the Bonds Authorized in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 91

(Ballot Title)

An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to continue a levy of a one-half percent sales and use tax for state highways and bridges; county roads, bridges, and other surface transportation; and city streets, bridges, and other surface transportation after the retirement of the bonds authorized in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 91, as special revenue to be distributed under the Arkansas Highway Revenue Distribution Law.

FOR ISSUE NO. 1

AGAINST ISSUE NO. 1

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT REFERRED TO THE PEOPLE BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

ISSUE NO. 2

(Popular Name)

A Constitutional Amendment to Amend the Term Limits Applicable to Members of the General Assembly, to be Known as the “Arkansas Term Limits Amendment”

(Ballot Title)

A Constitutional Amendment to be known as the “Arkansas Term Limits Amendment”; and amending the term limits applicable to members of the General Assembly.

FOR ISSUE NO. 2

AGAINST ISSUE NO. 2

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT REFERRED TO THE PEOPLE BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

ISSUE NO. 3

(Popular Name)

A Constitutional Amendment To Amend The Process For The Submission, Challenge, And Approval Of Proposed Initiated Acts, Constitutional Amendments, And Referenda

(Ballot Title)

An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to amend the process for the submission, challenge, and approval of proposed initiated acts, constitutional amendments, and referenda.

FOR ISSUE NO. 3

AGAINST ISSUE NO. 3

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY PETITION OF THE PEOPLE

Issue No. 4

(Popular Name)

The Arkansas Citizens’ Redistricting Commission Amendment

(Ballot Title)

An amendment to the Constitution repealing and amending Sections 1, 4, and 5 of Article 8 of the Constitution to create a Citizens’ Redistricting Commission, consisting of nine Commissioners who are registered voters In Arkansas, that wilt replace the Board of Apportionment, consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General for the redistricting and apportionment of legislative districts, and the General Assembly for the redistricting and apportionment of congressional districts; providing the Commission shall apportion and redistrict congressional and legislative districts after the census every ten years; providing Commission meetings be advertised and public; requiring the Secretary of State to publish the Commission’s work product and redistricting maps; providing records of communications of the Commissioners, Commission staff, and outside consultants relating to the Commission’s duties be public records; requiring persons receiving income or reimbursement to Influence Commission action to publicly disclose such fact; providing any registered Arkansas voter may apply for the Commission but disqualifying anyone who, within the immediately preceding five years, has served as an elected or appointed federal, state, county or city official, registered lobbyist or officer of a political party, or has been employed by a registered lobbyist, political party, political campaign or political action committee, or Is related by blood or marriage to a disqualified person; providing for an application requiring statement of the applicant’s qualifications, residential address, and political party affiliation or lack of party affiliation; requiring the Secretary of State to prepare and advertise the application; providing applicants be selected by a panel appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice, with consideration of racial, gender, and geographical diversity, of three retired Supreme Court Justices and Court of Appeals Judges, and circuit Judges if necessary to fill the panel; requiring the panel by majority decision to place the applicants into pools based on party affiliation and choose thirty applicants from the pool affiliated with the party with the largest representation in the General Assembly, thirty from the pool affiliated with the party with the next-largest representation in the General Assembly, and thirty who are not affiliated with the largest or next-largest party; providing the chosen applicants be publicly disclosed, and that the Governor and the parliamentary leaders of the parties with the largest and next-largest representation in the state House of Representatives and Senate may each eliminate up to two applicants from each pool; providing the panel shall then randomly select three applicants from each pool to serve as Commissioners, and providing for random replacement draws if necessary to ensure at least one Commissioner is selected from each congressional district, and that the panel shall fill any Commission vacancy; requiring Commissioner terms to end when a new Commission is convened and prohibiting Commissioners from holding elected office or serving as a registered lobbyist while a Commissioner and for three years thereafter; requiring the Commission to elect its chair and vice chair from different pools; providing a quorum for any meeting is seven Commissioners, and requiring attendance and voting in person and not by proxy; requiring at least two votes from each pool to approve any final redistricting map and six votes to approve any other Commission act; requiring the Secretary of State to provide the Commission census and election data and a means for public comment and proposal of maps; requiring any congressional district to have a population as equal as practical to the population of the state as reported in the census divided by the number of districts to be established; requiring any map for a state House of Representatives or Senate district to vary by no more than three percent from the population of the state divided by the number of state House of Representatives and state Senate seats, respectively; requiring the Commission to conduct at least one public meeting in each congressional district and to publish three redistricting maps of congressional seats and three redistricting maps of state House and Senate seats, with a written report of the basis for the districts; requiring maps be drawn not to favor or disfavor any political party when viewed on a statewide basis; directing, to the extent practicable, districts be contiguous, not deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or language, be reasonably compact, and except as required to meet the other criteria, not divide cities or counties, and as feasible after satisfying the preceding criteria, promote competition among political parties; requiring the Commission to certify its final maps, and the respective populations and boundaries, to the Secretary of State, which shall become binding unless, within thirty days, a petition for review Is filed in the Supreme Court, in which case the apportionment becomes effective thirty days after the Commission certifies to the Secretary of State any revision pursuant to the Supreme Court’s mandate; providing reasonable reimbursement of panelists’ and Commissioners’ expenses related to their duties and a per diem of up to $200, subject to Increase by the General Assembly; requiring the General Assembly to appropriate moneys, in no case less than $750,000, for the Commission’s duties, and providing, to the extent the Commission requires moneys prior to such appropriation, the Commission shall receive such moneys from the Constitutional Officers Fund; providing the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction to require by mandamus the Chief Justice, panel, Secretary of State, and Commission to perform their duties; providing references to the Board of Apportionment in the Constitution shall refer to the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission; and repealing Arkansas Code §§ 7-2-101: through 105.

FOR ISSUE NO. 4

AGAINST ISSUE NO. 4

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY PETITION OF THE PEOPLE

Issue No. 5

(Popular Name)

A Constitutional Amendment Establishing Top Four Open Primary Elections and Majority Winner General Elections with Instant Runoffs if Necessary

(Ballot Title)

An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution requiring that all qualified electors be permitted to vote in a primary election, which must use a single ballot that lists all candidates for a covered office for whom that elector can vote regardless of political-party affiliation (or lack thereof) of the elector or candidate; defining the term “covered office” to mean each federal congressional office, each member of the General Assembly, and the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Attorney General, and Commissioner of State Lands; providing that “covered office” does not include the Office of the President of the United States; defining “qualified elector” to mean a person who meets the requirements of Arkansas Constitution, article 3, § 1 and Amendment 51; providing that the four candidates for each covered office at a primary election who receive the most votes, regardless of party, will then appear on the general-election ballot for that covered office, and requiring that no other candidates can appear on the general-election ballot for a covered office; providing that, at a general election for a covered office, qualified electors may rank one or more candidates in order of preference; requiring that the winner of a general election for a covered office be determined through an instant runoff process where votes must first be counted based on first-choice rankings; establishing that if, after counting votes according to first-choice rankings, a candidate has a majority of votes, that candidate must be declared the winner; providing that if no candidate has a majority of the votes, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the vote of each qualified elector whose first choice was the eliminated candidate is then counted for the elector’s next-choice candidate (if any); providing that if a candidate then has a majority of votes remaining, that candidate must be declared the winner; providing that if no candidate has a majority of the votes, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the vote of each qualified elector whose next choice was the eliminated candidate is then counted for the elector’s next-choice candidate (if any); providing that if a candidate then has a majority of votes remaining, they must be declared the winner; providing that candidates for a covered office at a primary election, and at a general election, may choose to have their political-party affiliation indicated on the ballot; providing that such an indication will not constitute or imply the political party’s nomination, endorsement, or selection of the candidate; providing that political parties may have their preferences for candidates for a covered office indicated on the primary and general election ballots and may also nominate, endorse, support, or oppose any candidate; and requiring the General Assembly to enact legislation to provide for a revised election process in accordance with and in furtherance of this Amendment; providing that all provisions of the Constitution, statutes, and common law of this State to the extent inconsistent or in conflict with any provision of this Amendment are expressly declared null and void as to, and do not apply to, any activities provided for under this Amendment.

FOR ISSUE NO. 5

AGAINST ISSUE NO. 5

MEASURE REFERRED BY ORDER OF THE PEOPLE

 

Issue No. 6

(Popular Name)

An Act to Amend the Definition of “Practice of Optometry”

(Ballot Title)

An act to amend the Arkansas Code regarding the definition of “practice of optometry”; providing that the definition of “practice of optometry” is amended to permit licensed optometrists to use ophthalmic lasers for the following surgical procedures: perform injections (excluding intravenous or intraocular injections), incision and curettage of a chalazion, removal and biopsy of skin lesions with low risk of malignancy (excluding lesions involving the lid margin or nasal to the puncta), laser capsulotomy, and laser trabeculoplasty; providing that licensed optometrists continue to be prohibited from using ophthalmic lasers for surgical procedures other than those previously identified, performing cataract surgery, performing radial keratotomy surgery, and selling prescription drugs; providing that the State Board of Optometry has the power and duty to establish credentialing requirements for a licensee to administer or perform the following procedures: injections (excluding intravenous or intraocular injections), incision and curettage of a chalazion, removal and biopsy of skin lesions with low risk of malignancy (excluding lesions involving the lid margin or nasal to the puncta), laser capsulotomy, and laser trabeculoplasty; providing that the State Board of Optometry shall require every optometrist who meets the requirements for certification to perform authorized laser procedures to report to the board regarding the outcome of the procedures performed in a format as required or directed by the board, and these reports shall also be sent to the Department of Health; this act being Act No. 579 of the Regular Session of 2019.

FOR ISSUE NO. 6

AGAINST ISSUE NO. 6

There have been some inquiries into the ballot measures that were certified. During our review, our office found that Issue 4 and Issue 5 did not submit enough signatures to be included on the ballot. However, the sponsors currently are challenging our review before the Supreme Court.

Pursuant to § 7-5-204, we are required to certify measures that are currently under challenge. Additionally, we decided it was in the best interests of election officials if we go ahead and certify the measures to the ballot for coding purposes and preparation purposes only, pending the outcome of the litigation.