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AR: Immigration Ballot Measure Fails to Make Ballot

Secure Arkansas Proposal Fails Signature Threshold

Talk Business has learned that Secure Arkansas, the grassroots organization pushing a citizen's sponsored illegal immigration ballot issue, has failed to submit enough raw signatures for its measure to be considered for the November general election.

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels reports that after a closer examination of the affidavits submitted by the group, the official signature count totaled 67,542 - nearly 10,000 signatures below the minimum required by state law.

The group needed 77,468 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.  Secure Arkansas claimed it submitted 78,211, but an official tally from an independent, outside accounting firm hired by Daniels' office indicated a different raw total.

Falling short of the 77,468 mark disqualifies the measure from further consideration for a popular vote in this election cycle.  The Secretary of State's office cannot review the petitions submitted for valid signatures.  It also means that the group will not qualify for the cure period, which would have allowed for an extra 30 days to collect additional signatures.

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels issued this statement:

"The Secretary of State's office determined today that Secure Arkansas, the sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment to prevent persons unlawfully present in the United States from receiving certain public benefits, did not provide the requisite number of signatures to put their measure on the November 2, 2010 general election ballot.

"Sponsors of proposed constitutional amendments must circulate petitions and gather 77,468 valid signatures, ten percent of the total number of votes cast for Governor in 2006, in order to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2010 ballot. At the conclusion of the official signature count today, an accounting firm hired by the Secretary of State to process the petition found only 67,542 signatures.  When sponsors of proposed initiatives fail to submit the legally required number of signatures by the prescribed deadline, the measure is disqualified from further review.

"Amendment 7 of the Arkansas Constitution prescribes the process by which voters may propose ballot initiatives.  The deadline for submitting proposed constitutional amendments and initiated acts was July 2, 2010."

This article was published by Talk Business.Net on July 9th, 2010