There’s a new, serious threat to democracy in Arkansas that will take away people’s right to put an amendment on the ballot. But we still have a chance to stop it.
HJR1008 would amend the Arkansas Constitution, and threatens to drastically scale back the voice of Arkansans through the ballot petition process. Republicans in the Arkansas Legislature voted to refer it out to voters in the 2020 election.
Democrats must take a vocal role in pushing back on all efforts to infringe on the ballot process. People want to keep their democratic rights, and don’t want their state legislators going down to Little Rock to take away their Constitutional rights.
These restrictions are being proposed because of a fear of good votes from the people of Arkansas, on issues like medical marijuana and creating an independent redistricting commission.
- This bill would move up the deadline from filing petition efforts from four months before an election all the way to January 15th of an election year.
- Instead of requiring signatures to be gathered from at least 15 counties, it would increase the minimum requirement to three-fifths of the state’s 75 counties.
- It eliminates the cure period for gathering additional signatures after the Secretary of State’s office verifies submitted signatures — effectively ELIMINATING that crucial second effort.