Ballot Committees Vying to Pass Constitutional Amendments in Arkansas

With only a year until the 2024 elections, ballot committees are vying to place proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot in Arkansas.

For example, the group Restore Election Integrity Arkansas recently filed paperwork indicating it will work for an amendment requiring elections to use secure paper ballots.

Arkansas Citizens for Truth, Justice, and the American Way likewise has announced it plans to work for passage of five constitutional amendments: one repealing the state sales tax on used cars; another lowering the state sales tax on new vehicles; a third amendment abolishing property tax for individuals over age 65; an amendment to strengthen Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act; and an amendment “to concern casinos in Arkansas.”

The group notes that these amendments would be for the 2026 election cycle.

The organization Arkansans for World Class Education continues raising funds in the state, according to reports filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The group worked unsuccessfully to place the “Public Schools Amendment of 2022” on the ballot last year. Among other things, that proposed amendment would have removed the provision in the Arkansas Constitution that lets the legislature make laws concerning the State Board of Education.

The committee Arkansans for Cannabis Reform signaled last year that it might try to place a marijuana amendment on the 2024 ballot, but has reported no activity since then. In 2020 the group unsuccessfully worked to place a recreational marijuana amendment on the ballot.

Although no official ballot committee has formed yet, it is possible the abortion industry will attempt to use Arkansas’ petition process to place an abortion amendment on the ballot in 2024.

Late last year, pro-abortion groups released statements to the media listing Arkansas as one of the places where they would like to pass an abortion amendment.

In January our team intercepted a political poll asking voters in Arkansas a series of questions about campaign messaging for an abortion amendment. 

For example, some of the poll questions were along the lines of, “Does the statement, ‘This amendment safeguards reproductive freedom’ make you more likely or less likely to vote for the amendment?”

More than one national pro-life  leader has told us that they have heard rumors about pro-abortion petition drives kicking off in Arkansas ahead of 2024 as well.

If that happens, the next 12 months could be a critical time for the pro-life movement in Arkansas.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Planned Parenthood Endorses 21 Candidates in Arkansas

Planned Parenthood has endorsed 21 candidates in Arkansas ahead of the November 8, 2022, election.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider and a major proponent of transgender ideology. Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is the political arm for Planned Parenthood’s affiliate in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas.

According to a statement on its website, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes has endorsed the following 21 candidates in Arkansas:

  • Chris Jones (D) for Governor
  • Kelly Krout (D) for Lt. Governor
  • Frank Scott, Jr. (D) for Little Rock City Mayor
  • Garry Smith (D) for Senate District 2
  • Cortney Warwick McKee (D) for Senate District 6
  • David Barber (D) for Senate District 17
  • Nick Cartwright (D) for Senate District 18
  • Jim Wallace (D) for Senate District 28
  • Greg Leding (D) for Senate District 30
  • Lisa Parks (D) for Senate District 31
  • Markeeta Tucker (D) for House District 6
  • David Whitaker (D) for House District 22
  • Denise Garner (D) for House District 20
  • Nicole Clowney (D) for House District 21
  • Tippi McCullough (D) for House District 33
  • Milton Nicks, Jr. (D) for House District 35
  • Jay Richardson (D) for House District 49
  • Bruce Martin (D) for House District 61
  • Judson Scanlon (D) for House District 70
  • John J. Pack (D) for House District 71
  • Denise Ennett (D) for House District 80

Early voting in Arkansas begins Monday, October 24.

According to the most recent reports filed with the Secretary of State’s office, Planned Parenthood has been largely inactive in Arkansas’ political races this year.

As far as Family Council knows, the only 2022 political contribution Planned Parenthood’s PAC has made in Arkansas was $2,900 to Lisa Parks (D – Springdale) on January 31 in support of her campaign.

Planned Parenthood’s political action committee reportedly has a little over $12,000 that it could spend influencing elections in Arkansas this year.

Campaign Do’s and Don’ts for Churches and Pastors

Many people believe state and federal law prevents churches and pastors from talking about “politics.”

The reality is that churches and ministers have tremendous leeway to address legislation, campaign issues, and candidates.

Below is a simple overview of what churches and pastors can and cannot do when it comes to politics, courtesy of our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom.

Discuss political issuesYesYes
Support or oppose candidates for elective public officeNoYes
Contribute money, services, or non-monetary gifts to candidatesNoYes
Raise or spend money to support or oppose candidatesNoYes
Contribute to political action committees (PACs)NoYes
Payment of expenses for attendance of a pastor or church member at a caucus or state/national political party conventionNoYes
Candidate speaks at church (outside context of candidacy or campaign)YesN/A
Nonpartisan voter registration activitiesYesYes
Nonpartisan voter identification activitiesYesYes
Nonpartisan “get-out-the-vote” activitiesYesYes
Nonpartisan voter educationYesYes
Lobby for or against legislationYes, But Limited*Yes
Support or oppose ballot measuresYes, But Limited*Yes
Spend money to advance or defeat ballot measuresYes, But Limited*Yes
Distribute nonpartisan candidate surveys or voter guidesYesYes
Distribute unbiased voting records of candidatesYesYes
Distribute candidate campaign literatureNoYes
Equal distribution of political materials by others in church parking lotsYesN/A
Rental of church facilities at regular rates (available to all candidates)YesN/A
Provide a link on church’s website to a particular campaign websiteNoN/A
Publish editorials endorsing or opposing candidates in church publicationsNoN/A
*Churches can spend an insubstantial amount of money lobbying for or against legislation or ballot issues. Family Council has been told this “insubstantial” amount is thought to be approximately 2% – 5% of the church’s overall budget. Spending money on lobbying or issue advocacy may subject a church to state or federal reporting laws.

Churches and ministers are always free to address social and moral issues — even if some people consider those issues “political.”

Churches and preachers can talk about what the Bible teaches concerning abortion, marriage, education, citizenship, government, and other issues.

Bottom Line: Churches and ministers have tremendous freedom when it comes to talking about morality, social issues, and political campaigns.