There is a lot to know and a lot I don't know heading into the Nov. 3 General Election.
Stay with me on most of these items, many of which will fill the newspaper pages, radio and television air waves and the inboxes of your email, Facebook, Instagram and media sites between now and Nov. 3.
I know this will not be a record turnout for a Presidential Election.
I don't know, unfortunately, as of today, who will win.
I know that in Arkansas, more people will vote absentee in the 2020 General Election, than in any other election in modern times.
But I don't know how quickly results will be known or exactly how accurately Arkansans filling out a ballot at home can return it in a proper form to be counted.
I know that the County Clerks and local Election Commissioners in Northwest Arkansas are looking for more absentee ballots than ever to be cast in November.
I don't know if the same officials are going to "like" the projected large number of ballots that may be "challenged" or "provisional" ballots that may have paperwork lacking or signature verifications that may be sidelined and not counted.
I know that everyone expects their absentee ballot to be counted.
I don't know how one would find out if their ballot is a provisional ballot other than checking the voter rolls at the absentee site – days after the election. And I don't know how one would get that ballot counted after Nov. 3?
And still there are other issues to be settled in November.
I know that Washington County will have two "new" judges sitting on the bench after the vote.
I don't know the individuals whom will win these runoff races which have been ongoing since March.
I know we need a better way to elect local judges – even state and district judges – than this long runoff season.
I don't, however, foresee this solution coming soon.
I know the League of Women Voters and others who sought to implement a new way to draw up state House and state Senate district seats in the Arkansas Legislature, are extremely disappointed the State Supreme Court, in a 6-1 vote has apparently sidelined this proposal for another decade.
I don't know, for instance, how the current system – using the Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General – to draw up the legislative districts from U.S. Census totals – has been, oh, so wrong, for so long.
I know the League of Women Voters and other public policy think-tanks will keep fighting this fight.
I don't know if they realize it may be another decade before this is truly an issue with Arkansans.
I know we will still be battling the covid-19 virus later this fall when we vote.
I don't know how, if for Peter's sake, we can ask people who refuse to wear a mask to do so – even in a polling place.
I know I will vote early and at a voting center – well before the election.
I don't know, how people can feel that won't be safe voting early. It will be much safer to vote early when there is not a crowd, than going on election day to cast their ballots.
I know my mailbox is going to be flooded with flyers from all types of candidates, municipal, districts, state and yes national campaigns.
I don't know how all these printed broadsheets and slick mini-posters get into my mail box when I barely get regular mail delivered.
I know that 99% of these flyers are not read. They have little to no impact on me in choosing a candidate and these mailers are just a little less annoying than a robo call on my cell phone.
I know candidates seeking office and those running for re-election are struggling now that handshakes, hugs, kissing babies and not wearing a mask out in public are no longer options when meeting voters.
I don't know who will win in November, as much as I want to say, I know.
Do you know?
Or is it something you don't know either?
--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.