Arkansas Elections

Supporters of a proposal to expand alcohol sales in Arkansas are being given 30 more days to gather signatures after falling short in their effort to win a spot on the November ballot.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said Friday that the group behind the proposed constitutional amendment needs an additional 17,133 signatures from registered voters to be approved for the ballot.

Proposed constitutional amendments need at least 78,133 signatures to go before voters.

A proposal to gradually raise Arkansas' minimum wage is one step closer to appearing on the November ballot after petitions for the measure passed an initial signature count.

Secretary of State Mark Martin said Wednesday an initial count found that 64,000 signatures were submitted for the proposed initiated act backed by Give Arkansas a Raise Now. The group needs 62,507 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin's office is asking a judge to deny a request to block a voter ID law, saying it would cause "irreparable harm" to the state.

Martin's office on Wednesday asked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox to deny a motion lift the stay on his decision against the law, which requires voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. Fox ruled the law unconstitutional in May, but suspended his decision. That ruling has been appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a proposed ballot item that would allow top vote getters in primary elections, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office wrote Wednesday that the proposal would violate the First Amendment in that it would block political parties from freedom of association.

Election vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Election officials say turnout is light around the state as early voting begins for a primary runoff highlighted by an increasingly bitter fight for the Republican attorney general nomination.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said 3,708 voters had cast a ballot by mid-afternoon Tuesday, the first day of early voting for the June 10 primary runoff. Martin's office has predicted only 3 or 4 percent of the state's 1.6 million registered voters will cast a ballot in the runoff.

Too few voting machines and untimely breakdowns led to long lines at two Garland County polling locations, and some voters walked away without casting ballots.

Garland County Election Commission chairwoman Ginna Watson says one Hot Springs polling site on Central Avenue had a printer problem Tuesday that slowed the pace of voting.

Watson told The Sentinel-Record there were machine issues at most precincts. One polling site on Malvern Avenue had only one voting machine all day.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas judge has again found the state's new voter ID law to be unconstitutional, but a photo identification will still be needed for this month's primary election.

Judge Tim Fox held a hearing Friday in Pulaski County Circuit Court concerning a second challenge to law, this one from the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Arkansas Law Center. 

Two courts are considering challenges to Arkansas' new voter ID law as early voting approaches for the state's May 20 primary.

Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox is scheduled to hold a hearing Friday afternoon on whether to issue a preliminary injunction against the new law that requires voters to show photo identification before they cast a ballot. Fox struck down the law in a separate case last week, but the state Supreme Court stayed that ruling while it considers an appeal of the decision.

election voter ID vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' highest court has temporarily stayed a judge's ruling striking down the state's voter ID law and given both sides until Friday to make their case about whether the restriction should remain in place.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the state's request to stay Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox's decision voiding the new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Fox ruled the restriction violated Arkansas' constitution. Fox issued the ruling in a case that had focused on absentee ballot rules.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Pulaski County Election Commission and a group of four voters are asking Arkansas' highest court to prevent the state from enforcing a voter ID law in an upcoming election after it was struck down by a judge.

The commission on Tuesday asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to deny the state's request to stay Judge Tim Fox's ruling, which voided the new law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.

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