Kristin Higgins Public Policy Center Phone: 501-671-2160 Email: email@example.com
Office: University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 2301 S. University Avenue Little Rock, AR 72204
Lawsuit Filed Over Issue 3
by Kristin Higgins - May 26, 2020
The Arkansas legislature's third proposed 2020 constitutional amendment is at the
center of a new lawsuit filed in the Arkansas Supreme Court seeking to strike the
issue from the November ballot.
Briana Boling filed a lawsuit against the 92nd General Assembly on May 22 saying the ballot title of Issue 3 was
vague and didn't tell voters what the amendment would do. Issue 3 involves the process
ballot issue groups follow to refer proposed amendments and state laws to voters.
Arkansas is one of 15 states where citizens have the right to refer amendments, state
laws and referendums to voters in addition to legislative proposals.
If approved, Issue 3 would make several important changes to the citizen initiative
Increasing the number of counties where voter signatures must be collected for statewide
proposals from 15 counties to 45 counties.
End the practice of allowing ballot issue groups more time to collect voter signatures
after turning in their first batch to the Secretary of State's Office for signature
verification. It would also end the practice for local ballot measures submitted to
city our county clerks.
Require voter signatures to be submitted to the Secretary of State's office on Jan.
15 instead of the current four months ahead of an election (July 3 this year).
Establish April 15 as the deadline for when lawsuits can be filed challenging ballot
Increase the number of votes needed by the General Assembly to refer their proposals
by three additional senators and nine additional representatives.
Earlier this year Boling submitted a proposed constitutional amendment that would
allow voters to sign petitions electronically but had not started a campaign before
COVID-19 concerns arose.
It's unclear how the lawsuit would proceed as it names the entire General Assembly
rather than an individual.
The Public Policy Center will publish a voter guide on all the proposed statewide
constitutional amendments in September. As of today, only three proposals from the
legislature are slated to be on the ballot. A lawsuit continues about a proposed referendum.
To learn more about Arkansas ballot issues, visit www.uaex.edu/ballot.