Arkansas, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Initiative (statute)

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Arkansas, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Initiative (statute)
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Arkansas Constitution Article 5, 1
1. Initiative and Referendum.

Initiative. The first power reserved by the people is the initiative. Eight per cent of the legal voters may propose any law (..) by initiative petition and every such petition shall include the full text of the measure so proposed. Initiative petitions for state-wide measures shall be filed with the Secretary of State not less than four months before the election at which they are to be voted upon; provided, that at least thirty days before the aforementioned filing, the proposed measure shall have been published once, at the expense of the petitioners, in some paper of general circulation.

Article 5 General Provisions

Majority. Any measure submitted to the people as herein provided shall take effect and become a law when approved by a majority of the votes cast upon such measure, and not otherwise, and shall not be required to receive a majority of the electors voting at such election. Such measures shall be operative on and after the thirtieth day after the election at which it is approved, unless otherwise specified in the Act.

This section shall not be construed to deprive any member of the General Assembly of the right to introduce any measure, but no measure shall be submitted to the people by the General Assembly, except a proposed constitutional amendment or amendments as provided for in this Constitution.

Source: Arkansas Constitution (accessed 1 Feb 2017)

Subject Matter:

Enacting laws via initiative

Actors

Author:
Citizen
Initiator:
Citizens : 8% of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
8% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election
Available Time:
unlimited (as long as it is filed at least 4 months before the election, see "Other formal requirements")
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
Majority of the votes cast.
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum. Signatures: "Upon all initiative or referendum petitions provided for in any of the sections of this article, it shall be necessary to file from at least fifteen of the counties of the State, petitions bearing the signature of not less than one-half of the designated percentage of the electors of such county."
Excluded Issues:

Constitutional amendments (See Arkansas PCI regarding constitutional amendments)

Other Formal Requirements:

"Initiative petitions for state-wide measures shall be filed with the Secretary of State not less than four months before the election at which they are to be voted upon; provided, that at least thirty days before the aforementioned filing, the proposed measure shall have been published once, at the expense of the petitioners, in some paper of general circulation."

"Upon all initiative or referendum petitions provided for in any of the sections of this article, it shall be necessary to file from at least fifteen of the counties of the State, petitions bearing the signature of not less than one-half of the designated percentage of the electors of such county."

Source: Arkansas Constitution of 1874, Article 5, Section 1 (accessed 1 Feb 2017)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

7-9-108. Procedure for circulation of petition
(b) Each part of any petition shall have attached thereto the affidavit of the person who circulated the petition to the effect that all signatures appearing thereon were made in the presence of the affiant and that to the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief each signature is genuine and that the person so signing is a legal voter.

Source: Arkansas Code of 1987 (accessed 1 Feb 2017)

Wording Of Ballot Question:

7-9-107. Approval of ballot titles and popular names of petitions prior to circulation -- Publication
(b) Within ten (10) days, the Attorney General shall approve and certify or shall substitute and certify a more suitable and correct ballot title and popular name for each amendment or act. The ballot title so submitted or supplied by the Attorney General shall briefly and concisely state the purpose of the proposed measure.

Source: Arkansas Code of 1987 (accessed 1 Feb 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:

7-9-107. Approval of ballot titles and popular names of petitions prior to circulation -- Publication.
(3) Whenever the sponsor of any initiative or referendum petition has obtained final approval of its ballot title and popular name, the sponsor shall file such petition with the Secretary of State prior to obtaining signatures on the petition.

Source: Arkansas Code of 1987 (accessed 1 Feb 2017)

Supervision And Support:

7-9-114. Abstract of proposed measure.
(a) The Attorney General shall prepare a concise abstract of the contents of each statewide initiative and referendum measure proposed under Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7, and he or she shall transmit it to the Secretary of State not less than twenty (20) days before the election.
(b) Not fewer than eighteen (18) days before the election, the Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of the abstract to the county boards of election commissioners, who shall cause copies to be printed and posted conspicuously at all polling places in the county for the information of the voters.
(c) The cost of printing copies of the abstracts shall be borne by the counties as a regular expense of the election.

Source: Arkansas Code of 1987 (accessed 1 Feb 2017)

Transparency And Finance:

Campaign finance requirements are enforced by the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

7-9-601. Hiring and training of paid canvassers.

(a) (1) A person shall not provide money or anything of value to another person for obtaining signatures on a statewide initiative or referendum petition unless the person receiving the money or

(2) Before a signature is solicited by a paid canvasser the sponsor shall:

(A) Provide the paid canvasser with a copy of the most recent edition of the Secretary of State's initiatives and referenda handbook;

(B) Explain the Arkansas law applicable to obtaining signatures on an initiative or referendum petition to the canvasser; and

(C) (i) Provide a complete list of all paid canvassers' names and current residential addresses to the Secretary of State.

(..)

Source: Arkansas Code of 1987 (accessed 1 Feb 2017)

Practice