Election Commission announces 2020 polling sites
Early Voting for Nov. 3 General Election begins Monday
By RALPH HARDIN
With the 2020 General Election less than three weeks away, the Crittenden County Election Commission has released its list of polling places for the Nov. 3 vote. Election Day Voting from 7:30am-7:30pm
In West Memphis polls will be open at:
■ First Baptist Church, 200 N. Missouri Street, West Memphis, AR 72301
■ Calvary Baptist Church, 1600 N. Avalon, West Memphis, AR 72301
■ Lehr Arena, 501 West Broadway, West Memphis, AR 72301
■ ■ Eugene Woods Civic
Center, 212 West Polk Ave, West Memphis, AR 72301
■ Mt. Olive Baptist Church and Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church sites moved to
■ Roberta Jackson Neighborhood Center, 1300 E Polk Ave, West Memphis, AR 72301 (for voters who previously have voted at Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church and Mt. Olive Baptist Church)
■ 7th Street Church of Christ, 899 7th Street, West
Memphis, AR 72301
■ Wonder Boys Club, 412 S. 25th Street, West Memphis, AR 72301
In Marion, polls will be open at:
■ Marion Performing Arts, One Patriot Drive, Marion, AR 72364 (for voters who previously voted at the County Office Building)
■ Marion Church of God, 1747 Hwy 64, Marion, AR 72364
■ Immanuel Baptist Church, 1714 Hwy 77, Marion, AR 7236 The following polling places will be open in the county:
■ Bonds Marine, 15263 Hwy 147S Horseshoe Lake, AR 72348
■ Horseshoe Lake City Hall, 174 Highland Dr., Horseshoe Lake, AR 72348
■ Anthonyville Fire Department, 149 Luke Anthony Sr Dr. Proctor, AR 72376
■ Earle City Hall Annex, 1004 Second Street, Earle, AR 72331
■ St Lukes Missionary Baptist Church, 520 Arkansas Street, Earle, AR 72331
■ ■ Crawfordsville Water Department, 1468 Old Hwy 64,
Crawfordsville, AR 72327
■ ■ Gilmore City Hall, 970 Front Street, Gilmore, AR 72339
See ELECTION, page A8 ELECTION
From page A1
■ ■ Jericho City Hall, 531 Wallace Ave, Jericho, AR 72325
■ ■ Jennette City Hall, 2333 Jennette Rd, Crawfordsville, AR 72327
■ ■ W R Golden Center, 1064 Third Street, Turrell, AR 72384
■ ■ Edmondson City Hall, 61 Waterford St, Edmondson, AR 72376 Absentee Voting will be canvassed at the County Courthouse, on Oct. 20, 21,22; Oct. 27,28,29, and Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Election Day Nov. 3, canvassing and counting will be at the West Memphis Civic Center, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
In the race for President of the United States. President Donald Trump (the incumbent) and Vice President Mike Pence will represent the Republican Party. Trump will, of course, be challenged by former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party and his running mate California U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris.
Additionally, there are a number of other minor party candidates also on the ballot. Among the best known of these is music star Kanye West who is running with as an independent candidate, with Michelle Tidball as his running mate. Another prominent candidate will be Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party, with her running mate Spike Cohen. Jorgensen visited Arkansas last month for a campaign rally.
Other third-party candidates in Arkansas for 2020 include:
■ ■ Brian T. Carroll – American Solidarity Party, Amar Patel (Running mate)
■ ■ Don Blankenship – Constitution Party, William Mohr (Running mate)
■ ■ Howie Hawkins – Green Party, Angela Nicole Walker (Running mate)
■ ■ Phil Collins – Independent, Billy Joe Parker (Running mate)
■ ■ Roque De La Fuente – Independent, Darcy Richardson (Running mate)
■ ■ Connie Gammon – Independent, Phil Collins (Running mate)
■ ■ Brock Pierce – Independent, Carla Ballard (Running mate)
■ ■ J.R. Myers – Life and Liberty, Tiara Lusk (Running mate)
■ ■ Gloria La Riva – Party for Socialism and Liberation. Sunil Freeman (Running mate) Additionally, voters in this part of the state will vote on the U.S. House Arkansas District 1 seat, although Rep. Rick Crawford, the incumbent for the Republican Party, is unopposed. In the U.S. Senate race for Arkansas, Sen. Tom Cotton, the incumbent, and a member of the Republican Party, does not have a Democratic challenger. He will, however, be opposed by Ricky Dale Harrington Jr., representing the Libertarian Party.
Also, the race for two local seats on the Arkansas State Legislature are uncontested. Arkansas House of Representatives District 51 is uncontested, with incumbent Deborah Ferguson (Democratic Party) unopposed, as is the race for Arkansas House of Representatives District 50, with incumbent Milton Nicks (Democratic Party) having no challengers.
In addition to state and national elections being held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, a number of local candidates will be vying to keep or win seats in a number of municipal offices. While many of these candidates key contested races in cities and towns across Crittenden County. Here are the candidates who have filed in these races (listed by city):
Clarkedale Town Council
Recorder: Candace Pirani Position 1: Fred G. Stuckey Position 2: Jerry Lesley Position 3: Dave Thomas Position 4: Tracey Stokes Position 5: Paul Pirani
Crawfordsville City Council
Ward 1-1: Terri Watson and Paige McFee Ward 1-2: O’Neal Freeman Jr. Ward 2-1: Edward Hampton Ward 2-2: Larry Zane Boyd and Sandress D. Stewart- McVay Ward 3-1: Frances R. Wallace Ward 3-3: Jeremy Joseph Soto
Earle City Council
Ward 1-2: Donnie Cheers Ward 2-2: Demetris Johnson Jr., Charlie Young, and Ann Pickering Philyaw Ward 3-2: Robert Malone Ward 4-2: Tyrone Hurst
Gilmore Town Council
Position 2: Terry Person Note: No candidate filed in Position 1, 3, 4 or 5
Horseshoe Lake Town Council
Position 1: Trina Scarbrough and Shawn Siders Position 2: Harris Lentz III Position 3: Terry Tarr and Autumn Daugherty Position 4: Karla Chambers Fann Position 5: Gregory Scott Davenport and Kenneth McDermott
Jennette Town Council
Position 1: Monica R. Young Position 2: Joanne Thomas Position 5: Velma J. Thomas Note: No candidate filed for Position 3 or 4
Jericho Town Council
Recorder: Elaine Dupree Position 1: Dorothy Parnell Position 2: Juanita Edwards Position 3: Freddie Banks Position 4: Brenda Payne Position 5: No candidate filed
Marion City Council
Jasper 1-1: Kelly O’Neal and Kelsey Pirani Hensley Jasper 2-1: Cliff Wood Jasper 3-1: Bryan Jackson
Turrell Town Council
Position 1: Cassius Moore Position 2: James Lowery Position 3: Antonio Greer Position 4: Emanual Harris Position 5: No candidate filed Position 6: Jeffrey Thomas
West Memphis City Council
City Clerk: James Pulliaum and Jeanetta Gilliam Ward 1-2: Tracy Catt and Joseph Tucker Ward 2-2: Melanie Hutchinson and Renaldo Felton Ward 3-2: Wayne Croom Ward 4-2: Arburt Robinson and David V. Murray Ward 5-2: Willis Mondy and Al Felton Of note, no candidates filed for any of the municipal seats in Anthonyville, Edmondson or Sunset.
Also as part of the election, all Arkansans will have their say on three statewide issues.
Issue 1: Road Tax
Voting yes on Issue 1 would amend the state constitution to make a halfcent sales tax to fund road projects, and highway and bridge maintenance permanent.
On the ballot, it would read “An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Continuing a One-Half Percent (0.5 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.” Issue 1 would allocate 70 percent of the revenue for ArDOT, 15 percent to counties and 15 percent for cities, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Office.
“It is a pay-as-you-go plan in which the money will be put back into the system – asphalt and concrete for highway and bridge maintenance and repairs; enhanced striping and other safety improvements; and congestion relief and widening with some new construction,” explained Arkansas State Highway Commissioner Alec Farmer.
The tax set to expire in June 2023 was approved by voters in 2012 as part of the Department of Transportation’s Connecting Arkansas program. Under Constitutional Amendment 91, revenue from a current half-cent sales tax funds projects for the state’s highway system, county roads and city streets.
Projects in Northeast Arkansas funded by the ongoing tax include the Monette bypass on Arkansas 18, widening of that highway to five lanes east of Manila through the Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge; and the widening of U.S. 412 from Paragould to Walnut Ridge.
Rep. Dan Sullivan, RJonesboro, A coalition of groups that includes the Northeast Arkansas Tea Party and Arkansas Public Policy Panel, is rallying against Issue 1.
“Most road maintenance costs are driven by big trucks that do damage and not by general consumers driving our light vehicles on the roads, yet this proposal asks general consumers, mostly low- and middle-income families, to pay the giant’s share of maintaining and building our road infrastructure,” said Bill Kopsky of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel.
Issue 2: Term Limits
Another state legislatureapproved proposal, affirming Issue 2 would change term limits for the Arkansas General Assembly. The initiative will read “A Constitutional Amendment to Amend the Term Limits Applicable to Members of the General Assembly, to be Known as the ‘Arkansas Term Limits Amendment.’” According to the extension service, voting in favor would “remove lifetime term limits for state legislators, prohibit future legislators from serving more than 12 years in a row … and allow current legislators and any legislator elected this November to serve under the current term limit amendment, which allows them to serve 16 years consecutive or The ballot initiative allows for a four-year break between 12-year stints in the Legislature, the extension’s election guide states. Two-year Senate terms also would apply to calculate consecutive years in office for those elected after Jan. 1, 2021.
Issue 3: Changes to Initiative Process
Issue 3 will read “A Constitutional Amendment To Amend The Process For The Submission, Challenge, And Approval Of Proposed Initiated Acts, Constitutional Amendments, And Referenda.”
The proposal sets Jan. 15 as the date signatures are due for voter-proposed ballot measures, requires signatures from 45 counties instead of 15 and eliminates the “cure period” for additional signatures that may come after the first round is submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office, the extension office reported.
It also would require 60 percent of legislatures of each house to approve a proposed amendment for voters’ consideration.
The Arkansas Press Association is campaigning against the amendment because it also strikes the requirement for ballot issues to be published in newspapers in all 75 counties six months before an election.
“Public notices in newspapers provide voters with an independent, accountable and verifiable way to learn about ballot issues,” said Ashley Wimberley, APA executive director. “Some of these measures are so lengthy or complicated, the only way they can be fully digested is through public notice. The APA opposes Issue 3 and its limits on transparency.”
The University of Arkansas Extension Office provides a 2020 Voter Guide online, which can be read at bit.ly/3cPCW22.
The Crittenden County Election Commission is making plans to have two Early Voting locations in advance of the Nov. 3 General Election, making it easier for county voters to safely cast their ballots. The commission made the choice to take Early Voting out of its traditional staging area in the Crittenden County Quorum Court chambers in the county courthouse due to the pandemic.
“Because of COVID-19 concerns, the usual location is being moved from the County Courthouse to the Marion Performing Arts Building,” said commission chair Dixie Carlson.
Carlson said that the commission starting looking at an alternative site months ago when it became obvious that the Courthouse location was not suitable.
“We are grateful that the Marion School District for allowing us to use their facility for the two weeks of early voting. The Marion Performing Arts Building will allow us to use more machines in a safer environment.”
After considering all its options, the commission decided to add a second Early Voting site, giving more voters easier and more convenient safe voting options. New for this election will be an Early Voting location at the Eugene Woods Civic Center in West Memphis.
“The Election Commission decided to add the additional site to lessen the congestion of Early Voting at the traditional one location,” election commissioner Frank Barton said, “The Civic Center meets all of our concerns for Early Voting in a COVID-19 situation and we appreciate the city administration making the building available.”
Early Voting begins on Monday, Oct. 19, and runs through Monday, Nov. 2. Early Voting hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays (no Sunday voting). On Monday, Nov. 2, the hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some other Poll location changes for the General Election were also announced by the Election Commission. The poll location at the County Office Building is being moved to the Marion Performing Arts Center on Election Day.
“The Election Commission decided on the change for this election since the County Office building hosts the largest number of registered voters and the Marion Performing Arts building is larger and it will already be set up because of its use in Early Voting,” said Barton.
The other poll change announced was the moving and combining of Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church and Mt. Olive Baptist Church, and moving the two locations to the Neighborhood Center.
“The Election Commission noted that the Neighborhood Center was originally a poll location and the two church buildings are in close proximity,” said Barton. “It made sense to use the larger facility of the Neighborhood Center to help spread out people during the pandemic.”
Polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. All Voting will be tabulated at West Memphis Civic Center when polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The public is invited to attend. COVID-19 safety protocols will be observed.