Attorney general again blocks idea to change wet-dry election requirements | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 13, 2015

Attorney general again blocks idea to change wet-dry election requirements

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 7:42 AM

David Couch, the Little Rock attorney who's worked on previous alcohol sales ballot initiatives, has been turned down a second time by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on a proposal petition to change the signature requirements for local option elections

She has again found shortcomings, despite changes made to accommodate her first objection, to his proposal to change the signature requirement from 38 percent of registered voters in a jurisdiction to 25 percent of the number who voted in the last election for governor in the area.

Rutledge found the new version lacking:

it is my conclusion that the ballot title you have submitted would be misleading for the reason that it fails to emphasize the change in the basis for computing the number of signatures required to call a local option election. I believe it can reasonably be anticipated that a significant number of voters will quickly scan this proposed ballot title and assume that the signature requirement simply drops from 38% to 25%. Many will not realize that it is likely a much more significant reduction due to the change from registered voters to voter turnout as the basis for determining the requisite number of signatures on a petition. The ballot title is misleading in failing to convey the scope and significance of the proposed change in the petition signature requirement in a manner that is not subject to misinterpretation by a significant number of voters.
I must therefore reject your proposed ballot title and instruct you to redesign it in a manner that will not be misleading.

I'm not sure how you could be much clearer about the change. 

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