Arkansas Voting Secrecy, Amendment 1 (2002)

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Arkansas Amendment 1, also known as the Amendment to Repeal the Provision in Arkansas Constitution Amendment 50 for the Numbering and Recording of Election Ballots Next to Name of the Voter, appeared as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 7, 2002 election ballot in Arkansas, where it was approved.[1]

Election results

Voting Secrecy
Approveda Yes 407,111 56.9%

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

House Joint Resolution 1004 proposes to amend the Arkansas Constitution to assure the secrecy of every vote. It does so by repealing Section 3 of Amendment 50 which requires that every ballot be traceable back to every voter through an assigned ballot number for the purpose of determining the purity of the election.

The Intent:

The Arkansas Supreme Court cited Section 3 of Amendment 50 in a decision that placed greater importance on the ability to trace ballots in assuring the purity of an election than on the secrecy of the ballot.

Section 3, Amendment 50 allows for a possible court order to trace ballots to assure purity of an election.

The people of Arkansas believe that the secrecy of their ballot is of the utmost importance.

By repealing Section 3 of Amendment 50, voters will guarantee themselves the right to a secret ballot.

Why is the issue on the ballot of a General Election? Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 is a change in the Arkansas Constitution and is in response to the conflict which emerges in Section 3 of Amendment 50 regarding the right to secrecy of ballot versus the need to guarantee the purity of the election. All questions of change to the State*s Constitution require a vote of the people.

Does this change mean a higher cost or increased taxes for me as an Arkansas citizen? It will not affect taxes nor should it increase or decrease costs. It addresses the issue of secrecy of the vote and so would disallow the recording of ballot numbers beside the names of voters.

What happens if this proposed amendment does not pass? Ballots will continue to be numbered and the number will be recorded beside the name of each voter. This will allow the courts to request that votes be traced back to voters as a means for assuring purity of each election.

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