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OPINION: Yesterday’s vote; Still ruminating, outcomes clear?

by By Maylon Rice, Politically Local | November 9, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Ah, the tiny headaches of writing a weekly newspaper column at least six days out from final voters voting and election results made known.

If you stayed up late enough last night you know who won.

If you kept refreshing the County Election Commission's website in your county, you know how the election turned out.

If the state kept up -- especially the Secretary of State's website -- the vote totals across Arkansas should be known.

But ifs are not always known when the sun rises on a Wednesday after a Tuesday's mid-term election in early November.

I am sure the talking heads will still be yammering away on television at these "tight" races in such states as Georgia and Arizona, where much of the national attention has been drawn to fierce in-state battles for a U.S. Senate seat.

Locally, there should not be any races in doubt this morning but here, five or six days out, calling the races and who won or did not win is a hefty burden to try to lift without placing egg on one's face.

But here I go.

I am sure that most of the Constitutional Questions -- especially the three referred from the General Assembly failed -- that are questions on Issues 1, 2 and 3.

There was a push at the close of the race two weeks ago for suddenly Senator Tom Cotton, gubernatorial candidates Sarah Huckabee Sanders and governor Asa Hutchinson and their friends at the Arkansas Farm Bureau, to sway the base GOP voters to approve Issue 2 -- making a 60 percent approval rate for any petition-initiated change to the 1874 Arkansas Constitution.

There were even some "scare" tactic ads saying that allowing petitions to be passed and an only 50 percent plus one vote majority was turning the Natural State into a "modern day California."

Wow! How could that even come close to being true when Arkansas gave the former Republican candidate for President almost 70 percent of the vote two years ago?

Issue 4, the recreational marijuana vote, did suffer a little, "this poll says this," and "that poll says that," a virtual back and forth tug of war, over the last couple of weeks.

There have been many different ads going back and forth either "for" or "against" Issue 4.

Despite the last-minute hesitation, I think the Issue 4 proposal passed and, yes, it may be a bad proposal.

But still I think it passed the muster of Arkansas voters.

Still, I return back to last night's results.

I am certain that U.S. Senator John Boozman won his third term as a U.S. Senator.

Congressman Steve Womack of Rogers will again return to Washington D.C. as the Congress from Northwest Arkansas.

I am predicting that Sarah Huckabee Sanders won the gubernatorial battle and did so with a double-digit margin -- perhaps not the margin she and others predicted weeks ago, but she still won.

The votes to expand the county's jail and juvenile jails in Washington County, I am for certain passed.

I am not so certain that voters in Madison County would approve a new jail but it might be a real sign of "independence" for the smaller county to take on its own problems for a change, not depending on its neighbors for solutions to its own problems.

Benton County, I am sure, will approve a larger jail and construction thereof. The types of horrific crimes, such as this latest one this last week, will make the Benton County law and order folks flock to the polls.

Down ballot races for other state Constitutional officers will result in a red landslide.

I cannot see one instance where a Democrat can defeat a Republican candidate -- no matter how bad the GOP candidate's actions or record may have been in other offices.

That simply means we will still see Tim Griffin, Leslie Rutledge and others still hanging around the State Capitol -- but just in different offices.

I cannot really see any bid upsets in the state legislative races across the region; most of the incumbents if not all the incumbents will win. A regional state Senate race may still be ongoing with two newcomers seeking that seat.

And, yes, the sun did come up this Wednesday morning if these predictions were right or wrong.

-- Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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