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Arkansas Voting and Elections, Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 (2008)

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Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1, also known as the Voting and Elections Amendment, appeared as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Arkansas, where it was approved.[1]

Amendment 1 gives the legislature the power to determine who can be a voting official. The measure also removes outdated language from the constitution.

Election results

Arkansas Voting and Elections
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 714,128 72.8%
No267,32627.2%

Background

Amendment 51, adopted by Arkansas voters in 1964, supersedes many of the provisions Proposed Amendment 1 deals with. It already allows a court to cancel the registration of mentally ill or mentally disabled voters if a judge determines the voters are incompetent. Amendment 51 also repealed the poll tax in Arkansas.

Specific Provisions

The measure:

  • Removes language in Article 3, Section 5, which says: "No idiot or insane person shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector."
  • Gives the Legislature the power to determine who can be a voting official. Currently, Arkansas was the only state that didn't give its Legislature the power to determine the qualifications of a poll worker. The state constitution banned state workers from serving as poll workers.
  • Replaces the poll-tax language in Article 3, Section 1 of the constitution, which currently requires a voter to "exhibit a poll tax receipt or other evidence that they have paid their poll tax," with text allowing voting by anyone who is a citizen of the United States, a resident of Arkansas, at least 18 years of age, and lawfully registered to vote.

Supporters

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels, the primary supporter, said he didn't expect any controversy.

Arguments in favor

Notable arguments made in favor of the measure included:

  • The measure would update the language of the constitution, and remove archaic language regarding "idiots" and "poll-tax"

See also

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References