Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston has rejected three constitutional amendment petitions aimed at the November ballot due to background check issues.
Thurston announced that the petitions submitted for three ballot initiatives did not meet the required number of signatures. He said that the committees heading up the ballot initiatives did not comply with Arkansas law governing criminal background checks for paid canvassers.
According to Arkansas Code Annotated 7-9- 601, ballot initiative sponsors must provide a complete list of all paid canvassers and must obtain a “current state and federal criminal record search on every paid canvasser to be registered with the Secretary of State.” The sponsors are required to certify to the Secretary of State that each paid canvasser has passed the criminal background check.
Thurston has stated that the ballot initiative sponsors failed to comply with this requirement and the signatures would not be counted. According to an AP report, the proposals required a minimum of 89,151 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November ballot.
The three ballot initiatives addressed the state’s redistricting process, creating open primaries in Arkansas and adding 16 more casinos throughout the state.