A party in Arkansas wants to go to paper ballots and the state Supreme Court announced late this week that they are willing to take up their case.
According to the Arkansas Advocate, the state’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case regarding paper ballots.
Arkansas’ highest court agreed Wednesday to fast-track a hearing in a lawsuit from a group advocating for the removal of voting machines from Arkansas elections.
The nonprofit Arkansas Voter Integrity Initiative sued Secretary of State John Thurston and the state Board of Election Commissioners earlier this month, asking the state Supreme Court to certify two proposed constitutional amendments: one that would require all Arkansas elections to be conducted with hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballots and one that would limit absentee voting to people who can prove their inability to vote in person.
Restore Election Integrity Arkansas, the ballot question committee supporting the measures, submitted both proposed amendments to Attorney General Tim Griffin in November. Griffin rejected both, citing a lengthy popular name, “partisan coloring language” and ambiguities.
Thurston and the Board of Election Commissioners both declined to certify the proposed amendments as submitted, according to the lawsuit filed Jan. 9, the day before Griffin’s rulings. Certification of the measures would allow supporters to start collecting signatures from supporters.
The group faces a July 5 deadline to collect signatures from 90,704 registered voters in order for the proposed amendments to appear on the November ballot. Clint Lancaster, AVII’s attorney, wrote in the initial legal complaint that the group sought an expedited hearing in order to start collecting signatures with enough time to meet the deadline.
Act 194 of 2023 shifted responsibility for certifying proposed ballot measures from the Board of Election Commissioners to the Attorney General. AVII’s lawsuit asks the Supreme Court to block enforcement of this law, arguing that the Attorney General does not have the constitutional authority to certify ballot language.