Longer terms, medical marijuana and whether the governor still retains powers when he’s out of state are among the seven issues that voters will face when they go to the polls Nov. 8.


To help voters navigate the complexities of the issues and the arguments on both sides, the Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has developed voter guides on each ballot item.


The voter guides, available for download or through the local county extension office, are edited to ensure they are neutral presentations of the ballot issues.


“Drafts of the voter guide are made available to proponents and opponents for comment and review before they are printed, as part of a vetting process to ensure the information is an unbiased representation of the issue and the arguments by proponents and opponents,” a spokesman said in a news release.


“Ballot issues can be confusing,” said Stacey McCullough, director of the Public Policy Center. “During an election year, voters are bombarded with advertising and various opinions through media and social media. We wanted to create an easy-to-understand, easy-to-digest guide to the issues and what supporters and opponents are saying.


“We want voters to feel confident in making their choices this November,” she said.


As there are often legal challenges to issues on the ballot, the issues may change come election day.


The Public Policy Center was established in 2004 to provide Arkansans with timely, credible, unbiased and research-based information and education about public issues. The center’s goal is to increase citizen knowledge, awareness and understanding of public issues and to enhance public participation in decisions regarding those public issues.


Find the Public Policy Center online at www.uaex.edu/ppc. The Public Policy Center is now on Facebook at facebook.com/uappc. The center frequently sends out ballot updates via e-mail. Sign up for ballot issues updates by e-mailing publicpolicycenter@uaex.edu.


The voter guides may be found at www.uaex.edu/ballot. The left-hand navigation from that page allows voters to read up on each issue separately. The ballot voter guides are available at the local county extension office. (To find a county office near you, visit: http://uaex.edu/counties/default.aspx).


— Mary Hightower is director of Communication Services at the U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.