AR Groups Compile Primary Voter Guide on Judicial Races / Public News Service

Early voting is underway in Arkansas through May 24. Central Arkansas community organizations have put together a nonpartisan voter guide for Pulaski County, focusing on judicial races.

The voter guide includes information about candidates running for Arkansas Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, prosecuting attorney, and county sheriff.

Candidates responded to provided questions that aim to help illustrate how they may interpret different laws upon being elected.

Indivisible Little Rock and Central Arkansas’ Lead Organizer Loriee Evans said it’s critical for voters to have the opportunity to make informed decisions about judicial positions.

“If you’re ever in court, it’s probably the most important day of your life,” said Evans. “You want to know that the person sitting behind the bench is fair and impartial. These judges, they decide family law, divorce law, environmental laws in our local communities.”

The voter guide is a collaboration between Indivisible, Arkansas Community Organizations, the League of Women Voters of Pulaski County, local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People branches, the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, and others.

Arkansas is an open primary state, meaning residents are not required to be registered as Democrats or Republicans to vote.

Arkansas ranked last in the nation for voter turnout during the 2020 presidential election, according to the US Election Assistance Commission.

Evans said it’s important for Arkansans to vote in the primary because it decides which candidate represents each party in the November General Election.

“Would you rather have someone who’s representing your party who can work across the aisle,” said Evans, “who can find compromise, because that’s how we actually make laws and progress forward, rather than elect a lot of folks who only represent a handful of voters? “

This election, Arkansans also are voting for party nominations for both chambers of Congress, governor, state Legislature seats, and more.

Next Tuesday, May 17 is the deadline to request a mail ballot. It must be dropped off in person by May 20.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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