Paperwork Flaws Push Term Limits off Ballot
Supporters of stricter term limits in Arkansas spent the past few years collecting thousands of signatures, and in the end, it was flaws with those petitions that knocked Issue 3 off the ballot.
The Arkansas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that votes for or against Issue 3 can not be counted. Early voting starts Monday, and the court had already disqualified Issue 1 and rejected challenges to Issue 4 and Issue 5.
With the decision Friday, there are no more lingering challenges to the statewide ballot issues.
Issue 3 would have reduced existing term limits for state senators and representatives from 16 years to 10 years. The constitutional amendment would have set two four-year terms in the Senate and three two-year terms in the House.
The group Arkansas Term Limits turned in 135,590 voter signatures on July 6. Staff at the Secretary of State's Office went through the thousands of petitions and determined that 93,998 were valid. The group needed 84,859 valid voter signatures to put Issue 3 on the ballot.
A lawsuit was later filed, claiming that thousands of signatures should be thrown out for paperwork errors. Canvassers didn't have proper background checks or they put the wrong address on their paperwork.
A special judge was appointed to review those claims and others, and determined that 14,806 signatures should be disqualified. That put Issue 3 below the required threshold.
Read the majority opinion. There was a dissenting opinion in the case Zook v Martin.
Election Day is Nov. 6. Read our updated voter guide for more information about the Arkansas ballot issues.