Make Your Vote Count for More

November 8th is fast approaching when Arkansans will vote for the future of their communities, the state and the Nation. 

We will have a number of very close elections across the state, which will be decided by just a few votes. 

Nothing turns your vote into an action that helps your community like asking a candidate where they stand on your issues at a public forum before the election. Getting candidates on record and encouraging everyone you know to vote based on their positions is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Often in Arkansas we elect candidates without knowing where they stand on many issues. It’s our job as voters to expose the real differences between candidates on the issues we care about.

Will they support research proven strategies to boost public education or will they support the privatization schemes that are resegregating our schools? 

Will they support action to protect Arkansas waters?

Do they support clean energy? 

Will they support economic and tax reforms that boost opportunities for middle class, working and vulnerable families, or do they support more tax favors for the super rich?

Do they support reforming our prison system which now has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world?

Do they support continuing health care coverage for 275,000 Arkansans through the Arkansas Works? 

Many leaders in our network are hosting forums to ask candidates where they stand. Some leaders are taking it a step further, going door-to-door to pass out information on where to vote and some of the key issues they are concerned about. Many are volunteering to help candidates who stand for their vision for the future of their community.

Voters will consider 7 ballot measures ranging from removing caps on corporate welfare (Issue 3), limiting your ability to sue bad actors for damages in negligence cases (Issue 4), and 2 medical marijuana measures (Issue 6 and 7).

Never forget the power of your vote, and the battles we are still fighting to preserve your right. Just this year the Arkansas Secretary of State acknowledged that he erroneously removed thousands of eligible voters, but refused to correct the error. 

In recent years our members in Gould, Huttig and other communities have had to fight to keep from being harassed and spied on in the voting booth, to make sure their ballot boxes arrived at the County Courthouse unopened and were counted fairly, to make sure polling sites were located at convenient locations and staffed with competent poll workers and functioning machines. Last year we had to fight against legislation that would have shortened the hours available for early voting.  

If you don’t like the candidates running, it’s just as important to get involved. Staying home only diminishes your ability to make change. Instead get out and vote, but make sure the candidates know where you stand before the election, and don’t let them forget after they take office. 

Stay engaged. You can even run for office yourself in the next cycle. 

Voting is the first step in creating the government we need and deserve, but it is not the last step.