Local elections: What’s happening?


Lance Brownfield

The deadline to register to vote in Arkansas was Monday, Oct. 5.

“If I were a college student, I would be very concerned with how this election goes,” chairman of the Clark County Republican Party Eddie Arnold said.

Less than a month until Election Day and it’s looking like a one sided contest. Trump, unable to hold rallies due to his contraction of COVID-19, falls behind Biden in the polls.

Typically the ballot holds more than just the presidential candidates. A race for justice of the peace, District 5 between Republicans Tracy Rider and Gregory Vardaman will be on the ballot for Clark County voters. Voters will also have to decide on issues one, two and three.

Issue one proposes a half cent tax for roads. The current tax, which is temporary, is expiring and the proposal would replace it with a permanent tax. Issue two deals with term limits for the General Assembly. Issue three aims to amend the process for ballot initiatives.

If you are registered to vote in another county or state, there are sure to be other races and issues on your ballot.

This year many people are opting to vote by mail because of the pandemic and this may be the best way for students from out of state to cast their votes. The deadline to register to vote in Arkansas was Monday, Oct. 5, but other states may have different deadlines.

On Sept. 24 and 29, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta held an event registering students to vote. Over 25 students were registered because of the joint effort.

“There has been a lot of controversy around the presidential election,” Kristen Washington, junior criminal justice major and Zeta Phi Beta member said. “Regardless of the results their vote still matters. If we don’t vote, we don’t get to see the changes we’d like to see happen.”

Even with all the efforts to register students to vote, there may be less students at the polls on Election Day than there were in 2016. Students are tired of the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils and often feel disenfranchised when they vote and still don’t see results.

“Frankly I’m not hearing as much talk among the students about voting as I did four years ago,” Clark County Democratic Party chairwoman, Dr. Claudia Beach said. “They really would realize how much power they have if they would get out and vote. They outnumber us ‘dinosaurs’.”