Reed said the secretary of state's office's temp workers will continue work until 9:30 p.m. tonight, but they apparently already know with the number remaining that the amendment will fall short of the 78,133 needed. She'll be given 30 days to meet the minimum. She had turned in only about 80,000, not much breathing room for invalid signatures. The verification of her signatures has been complicated by her attempt to register voters to qualify them to sign petiitons. She's learned you can't fill out a registration form and sign petitions the same day, you must first be registered with a county clerk. (See her news release on the jump, issued earlier today.)
The secretary of state has already disqualified another casino amendment and an ethics reform measure didn't go forward because of lack of signatures. The gas severance tax initiative, as we've mentioned before, is at least 41,000, perhaps thousands more, short and Sheffield Nelson will announce its fate tomorrow. The medical marijuana initiative drive is also thousands short with time running out.
UPDATE: Late Monday came word that Todd turned in only 23,616 valid signature leaving her more than 38,000 short. Failure rate matching gas tax. Another one heading to history books.
NANCY TODD NEWS RELEASE
Nancy Todd of Nancy Todd's Poker Palace gave a thumbs up today to the recent ruling by the Secretary of State relating to the issue of a public vote on casinos "We were challenged recently in the Secretary of State's offices about the sufficiency of our ballot title. We however were confident the Honorable Mark Martin would rule as Attorney General McDaniel had previously in finding the ballot language sufficient for the needs of voters, it was a long 30 day wait for the decision to be made."
Secretary of State Mark Martin issued a declaration last Thursday finding the ballot title to be sufficient and dismissed the complaint from his office. [But a second challenge is still pending.] "Now we can continue to focus on what is most important, allowing the voters of Arkansas the opportunity of making their own decision on the issue with their votes in November," Todd stated.
"We turned in our petitions to the Secretary of State's office on July 6th. Since then we have added more people to the field helping people to get registered as voters and to sign the petition. To date the effort has registered almost 4,000 Arkansans and we expect to reach 10,000 by the end of this week. It would seem fair people who registered to vote by the time the petitions are verified should be counted as a valid signature by a registered voter, but it would seem here in Arkansas that just isn't the case" Todd stated.
"Arkansans deserve to have THEIR vote count on this issue and that's why we are dedicated to a voter registration drive. But right now, it appears to be a blatantly unfair process that is hampered by unnecessary political bureaucracy. We are required to register people and deliver their signature to the County Clerk that same day for THE signature to be counted as valid. Not only is this unfair to the petitioners, it would seem to prejudice getting people involved in the political system. Those standards should allow people the fastest simplest way to become voters. In spite of these obstacles, we will continue to do what we must in order to meet the current standards set by the Secretary of State," Todd closed.