Opponents Challenge Filing of Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A group opposed to the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment* is questioning the Secretary of State's Office (SoS) about whether the petition for the proposed measure was filed on time.

"Let Arkansas Decide" submitted its petition on July 7.

On Monday, an attorney representing the group "Let Local Communities Decide for Themselves" wrote in a letter (see attached) to the SoS stating that according to the Arkansas Constitution, the petition should have been submitted no later than July 4.

The SoS issued this response to KARK via email:
"If the deadline falls on a holiday we roll it to the following business day. This has been the Secretary of State standard practice since Amendment 7 went into effect in 1925. We will review the law and do legal research to determine the validity of this issue."

On July 18, the SoS announced that the amendment did not meet the signature requirements after the verification process. 

Secretary of State Mark Martin said the proposed amendment required an additional 17,133 verified signatures to reach the 78,133 needed to be placed on the general election ballot. The petition sponsor was given 30 days to collect the additional signatures. 

*An amendment proposed by the people to the Arkansas Constitution to provide, effective July 1, 2015, that the manufacture, sale, distribution and transportation of intoxicating liquors is permitted in every geographic area of each and every county of this state; that for purposes of the amendment, “intoxicating liquors” is defined as any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by weight; that the manufacture, sale, distribution and transportation of intoxicating liquors may be regulated but not prohibited by the General Assembly; and, that all laws, specifically including laws providing for a local option election (wet-dry election) to determine whether intoxicating liquors may be sold or not sold, in conflict with this amendment, are repealed to the extent they conflict with this amendment.

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