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2014 Arkansas General Election Issue Number 2

Below is an excerpt from the review of Issue Number 2 from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Research and Extension

What is being proposed? 
Issue 2 proposes adding to the Arkansas Constitution a requirement that ballot issue petitions submitted by the public contain a minimum number of valid signatures of registered voters before the Secretary of State’s Office allows petition sponsors more time to gather additional signatures. To receive more time for gathering signatures, a petition would need signatures from:
  • At least 75 percent of the necessary signatures of registered voters from 15 different counties, and
  • At least 75 percent of the necessary signatures of registered voters statewide.
Currently a sponsor is automatically given an extension to gather additional signatures if a petition is submitted with the necessary number of signatures regardless of how many are valid. 
Why is this issue on the ballot? 
Legislators said they would look at legal changes to the petition process as a result of two high-profile ballot petitions in 2012 that contained hundreds of suspicious signatures. Election officials said more than 100 pages of petitions for a natural gas tax had signatures that appeared to be in the same handwriting, or every person on the page having the same name, or the names being in alphabetical order. Petitions also had technical problems – the pages lacked a notary seal or the signature of the signature gatherer. The sponsor of the petition did not collect enough valid signatures to have the proposal put on the ballot for voters to decide. However, the problems with the earlier petition and a second petition  seeking to establish casinos in the state led legislators to propose Issue 2.

See the entire review HERE