Arkansas Casino Petition Granted More Time

Arkansas Casino Petition Granted More Time

The state of Arkansas might at long last be on a right path towards realizing their casino legislature ambitions, but this road is going to be long and winding. In order for this to be present on the table of the powers that be who will decide its fate, a necessary amount of signatures must be collected…

…And right now, it seems like the Arkansas casino group who is collecting them, Driving Arkansas Forward (DAF) is short on these, with only 70,054 obtained so far.

Time is Money

Luckily for them, the state has granted them some additional time to collect the necessary amount of signatures before voters’ decision during the November referendum.

As per law, the required minimum amount of signatures is 10% of the number of votes cast during the last gubernatorial election, which would be 84,859 in this instance.

Secretary of State, Mark Martin’s, office has rendered 26,000 of the signatures invalid, after DAF initially acquired more than 96,000 signatures. Martin has permitted a 30-day extension to the group, seeing as they now qualify for it…

…DAF Counsel, Nate Steel, commented: “Our canvassers have continued to be active, gaining additional signatures for this proposed amendment. We expect to obtain the required number of signatures. We are confident Arkansas voters will have the opportunity on November 6 to keep tax revenue in the state and create jobs with new casino entertainment options in four regions of the state.”

Jumping Over Hurdles

It was a difficult journey, reaching this stage, for DAF. Arkansas’ Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, has been quite clear about her stance on casino legalization in her state since taking office in 2015…

…Since, she has rejected more than fifty ballot initiatives. Finally, she gave in during May of this year, when she allowed the ballot to proceed after the Arkansas Supreme Court reviewed her constant rejections, on DAF’s initiative.

It wasn’t really surprising since Arkansas is a very conservative state – it belongs to the so-called Bible Belt and 75% of voters supported the ban of same-sex marriage.

That was when DAF immediately began collecting the signatures for the November vote, but even three months later, they haven’t managed to secure the necessary quantity.