Arkansas Elections

Steve Copley Minimum Wage Give Arkansas A Raise Now

Arkansas election officials say a proposal to raise the state's minimum wage needs at least 15,107 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November ballot.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office on Wednesday released the number of signatures the petitions needed for Give Arkansas a Raise Now to win a spot on the ballot.

Martin's office on Friday told the group it needed more signatures, but did not yet have an exact figure.

The group has been given until Aug. 18 to submit additional petitions.

Arkansas election officials say the state has delayed the deadline for submitting the petitions to the following workday for nearly 90 years, as they review a group claiming the state used the wrong deadline for an expanded alcohol sales measure.

A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Mark Martin's office on Tuesday said officials were still researching the complaint from the group challenging the petitions that were submitted in favor of legalizing alcohol sales in all 75 counties.

A group opposed to a proposal expanding alcohol sales in Arkansas is asking the secretary of state to not certify the measure for the November ballot, claiming it missed a deadline to submit petitions.

An attorney for a group called Let Local Communities Decide For Themselves asked Secretary of State Mark Martin's office to not accept any more petitions for the proposal, which would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties. Thirty-seven counties currently prohibit alcohol sales.

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.