Secure Arkansas is saying it has gathered the 77, 468 signatures necessary to qualify its proposed constitutional amendment about immigrants on the November ballot. The secretary of state's office will review them for legitimacy before certifying it for the ballot.
The details on this meanness are here. If it qualifies, however, it will take an enormous effort to defeat so ingrained is the misunderstanding that immigrants are somehow getting improper public services.
I have no word yet on other petition efforts, including the Texan's would-be casino monopoly drive. It would allow Michael Wasserman to run unregulated casinos in seven counties.
It looks like Secure Arkansas cleared the required number by fewer than a thousand votes. But reaching the minimum was important. If, after checks, the numbers are insufficent (some could be disallowed if not from registered voters, for example), gatherers will have 30 days to collect more.
The secretary of state is currently counting to see whether Secure Arkansas met the minimum number of signatures, proper or not.
UPDATE: Secure Arkansas was the only petition to submit signatures by the deadline. Goodbye casino amendment, and several others. News release from secy. of state:
LITTLE ROCK, AR)—Sponsors of one proposed statewide ballot initiative submitted a petition to the Secretary of State’s office for verification by today’s deadline. Secure Arkansas proposes an amendment to prevent persons unlawfully present in the United States from receiving certain public benefits.
Amendment 7 of the Arkansas Constitution prescribes the process by which voters may propose ballot initiatives. Proposed constitutional amendments require the signatures of 10% of the votes cast in the preceding gubernatorial election, while initiated acts require 8%. For the 2010 election year, sponsors must submit 77,468 petition signatures for proposed constitutional amendments and 61,974 for initiated acts. The Secretary of State has 30 days from the date of submission to verify signatures up to 10% above the required number.
If a petition is found not to contain the required number of valid signatures, 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. If the petition is determined to be sufficient, the statewide initiative will appear on the general election ballot on November 2.
Petition signatures will be verified in the order in which they are received. The Secretary of State will certify the sufficiency of the petitions upon completion, and will publish the approved amendments in newspapers of general circulation in each county. The full ballot titles of the proposed issues can also be found at www.votenaturally.org.