Secretary of State Charlie Daniels has found, as expected, that the Family Council fell short of the number of registered voter signatures required to qualify its initiated act for the ballot. It would prohibit adoptions and foster parenting in homes with unmarried couples. It is designed to punish gay people primarily, but will have a broader impact.
The drive fell about 4,000 signatures short and the group will get 30 more days to gather additional signatures.
Challenges may yet be filed to the signatures Daniels certified by the group that opposes this initiative.
CHARLIE DANIELS NEWS RELEASE
LITTLE ROCK, AR—Secretary Daniels today notified the Family Council Action Committee that their submitted ballot initiative petitions have an insufficient number of valid signatures.
On July 7, the group submitted to the Secretary of State petitions with 65,952 signatures for an initiated act to provide that an individual who is cohabiting outside of a valid marriage may not adopt or be a foster parent of a child less than eighteen years old.
The verification process began Monday following the certification of a proposed constitutional amendment to authorize the General Assembly to establish, operate, and regulate state lotteries to fund scholarships and grants for Arkansas citizens enrolled in certified two-year and four-year colleges and universities in Arkansas.
2,533 signatures were culled, leaving 63,419 to verify. 57,888 were determined to belong to Arkansas registered voters. 61,794 valid signatures, or eight percent of the number of votes cast for Governor in 2006, are required for initiated acts to get on the ballot this year.
Under Arkansas law, the sponsor has 30 days from the date of notification of insufficiency to collect additional signatures or submit proof that rejected signatures should be counted.