Arkansas Elections

Bernard Pollack / flickr.com

Policy Advocates in Arkansas are planning to file a lawsuit challenging a new law which they claim restricts citizens from advancing ballot initiatives through a petition gathering process.

Act 1413 requires paid canvassers to register with the Secretary of State’s office and would criminalize canvassers who solicit fraudulent signatures.

Arkansas Governor Vetoes 3 Election Reform Bills

Apr 23, 2013
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has vetoed three bills aimed at overhauling the state's election commission, including one that would create a "voter integrity unit" to investigate fraud complaints.

Beebe on Tuesday vetoed the three bills by Republican Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest. He rejected the measures after lawmakers recessed this year's legislative session.

Arkansas voters will get to decide whether to toughen the requirements to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot through the petition process after the state House gave final approval to the measure Friday.

Senate Joint Resolution 16 would require that signatures be 75 percent correct for petitioners to receive additional time to collect the full, required number of signatures.

Representative Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, said the amendment is needed in light of a high number of fake or incorrect names that were turned in on petitions before the last election.

The Arkansas House on Monday completed an override of Governor Mike Beebe's veto of a bill that would require Arkansas voters to present photo identification before casting ballots.

The override passed the chamber, 52-45.

The vote was down party lines accept for the vote of Rep. Fred Love, D-Little Rock, who later asked to have his vote expunged indicating that it was a mistake.

Rep. Steven Meeks, R-Greenbrier, spoke for the bill saying voters want the added protection from fraud surrounding the voting process.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The Arkansas Senate voted 21-12 Wednesday to override the Governor's veto of a bill that would require voters in the state to present valid photo identification before casting a ballot.

This is the third veto the Senate has overridden this legislative session. The other two were on abortion restrictions.

The Senate delivered a letter announcing the override to the House of Representatives which also has to vote to override the veto.

flickr.com

As the Supreme Court considers the legality of gay marriage this week, the latest national polls show an increasing majority of Americans support same-sex unions. Arkansas, meanwhile, remains largely divided over the issue with a majority who say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.

Nathan Vandiver

A bill to require Arkansas voters to show a valid photo ID before casting a ballot is on it’s way to the Governor after clearing its final hurdle in the Senate today.

The bill was already passed by the Senate, but it picked up an amendment in the House, so today’s vote was to adopt the amendment. The measure passed 22-12.

arkansashouse.org

After a series of impassioned arguments for and against, the Arkansas House today passed a bill that would require all voters to show some form of photo I.D. each time they vote. The bill received 51 yeas to 44 nays.

There were questions as to whether the bill required a two-thirds majority to pass as some had suggested it might be a change to the state's constitution.

Arkansas Panel Rejects Campaign Finance Proposals

Mar 12, 2013
Arkansas State Legislature / www.arkleg.state.ar.us

A Senate panel has rejected measures that would have prohibited using campaign funds to buy tickets to another candidate's event and barred campaign contributions from businesses sharing the same majority owner.

On Tuesday, the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee rejected by a voice vote the campaign finance measures by Democratic Sen. Bruce Maloch of Magnolia.

The first proposal was aimed at preventing campaigns from transferring funds to another candidate by purchasing tickets to fundraisers and other events.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is putting his support behind legislation that he says will reduce fraud in the state’s ballot initiative process.

McDaniel and Sen. Keith Ingram, a Democrat from West Memphis, told reporters at the Capitol Thursday that proposed legislation would stiffen penalties for knowingly collecting and submitting fraudulent signatures within the state’s ballot initiative process.

McDaniel referred to last year’s election is a prime example that the process needs reform.

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