Early voters give opinions on 2020 Election in Craighead Co.
We hear the opinions of voters in Craighead County about the 2020 General Election
JONESBORO, Ark. — Early voting is underway in Arkansas as Election Day quickly approaches. The last day to vote in the 2020 election is Nov. 3.
According to Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston, early voting in Jonesboro is up tremendously compared to the 2016 election. Through the first week, over 400,000 Arkansans flocked the polls, compared to just 260,000 four years ago.
Voters have turned out in droves in Craighead County, citing several different reasons for casting their ballots early.
“I’m trying to early vote and beat the rush on (Election Day),” Roosevelt Patterson, a Jonesboro resident, said. Patterson added his main concerns are the presidential race, the Arkansas Term Limits Amendment, and Arkansas Issue 1.
Arkansas Issue 1, the Transportation Sales Tax Continuation Amendment, would continue a 0.5% sales tax enacted in 2012. The tax will expire in 2023 unless Issue 1 passes. If it does, the tax will become permanent. Currently, the revenue from the tax goes toward state and local highways, roads and bridges.
Arkansas Issue 2, though framed as a term limit amendment, it would essentially end term limits for the Arkansas legislature. Currently, Arkansas senators and representatives can serve up to 16 years in the Arkansas General Assembly. If Issue 2 passes, that would be amended to restrict legislatures to terms that could last no more than 12-consecutive years but would allow them to return after a four-year break.
The presidential election is an important issue for several voters. Christie Leasure of Jonesboro put it at the top of her list of priorities.
“Gotta be (President Donald) Trump, all the way,” Leasure said.
Howard French, an 82-year old Jonesboro resident, shared Leasure’s sentiment.
“(Democratic presidential candidate Joe) Biden brought me to the polls, to vote for Trump,” French said. “I’m going to vote Republican all the way down the line. I’m so sick of Democrats and their shenanigans.”
French made sure to voice his frustration about the highway tax as well, claiming the money has been “wasted” thus far.
When asked his overall thoughts of the election, Patterson painted a bleak, yet realistic picture.
“It’s probably one of the meanest and dirtiest (election cycles) I’ve witnessed in my time as a voter,” Patterson said. “I haven’t really heard anything about policy. I’ve just heard about personal attacks. No one is really talking about policy and how we’re going to go forward as a nation.”
Early voting in Arkansas ends Nov. 2, and Election Day is Nov. 3.