In 2008, every ballot issue passed with a decisive majority. Last night, we witnessed the very same story. This trend begs a question: Is it possible that Arkansans are so hungry for change, they’ll vote for any ballot issue in hopes that actual positive change will occur? It’s a question worth asking.
I think this question is especially relevant, considering that issues 2 and 3 on this year’s ballot were so convoluted and difficult for the average voter to understand, yet they passed in a landslide anyway. Perhaps part of it was the push on TV—all three issues were advertised as a package deal that was good for Arkansas. This certainly could have been what did it—especially since the passage of issues 2 and 3 brought with it the promise of new jobs in Arkansas. In a depressed economy, folks seemed to be looking for anything that might bring relief.
The problem, as the old saying goes, is that “not all that glitters is gold.” There were good reasons to be against issues 2 and 3 in particular (which we won’t go into right now), so I’m left with an unsettling feeling that some voters would now approve nearly any ballot proposal without doing their homework first.
This should be a challenging reminder to every voter to do the proper research—and a call to conscience for the Arkansas Legislature, which is the main body responsible for referring ballot issues.