Let Arkansas Decide, the committee behind the statewide "wet" ballot initiative, has turned in almost 85,000 signatures. To put the constitutional amendment that would end "dry" counties in Arkansas to the voters on the November ballot, at least 78,133 of the signatures have to be verified.
Today is also the signature deadline for Our Community, Our Dollars, the group behind an initiative to give voters in Faulkner, Craighead and Saline counties a "wet" option. In its most recent state ethics commission filing, Our Community, Our Dollars reported $625,000 in contributions in May, almost all of which was from Walmart.
About 24,800 signatures need to be verified to put Faulkner County’s "dry" status up for review by the voters in November. Natalie Ghidotti, a spokesperson for Our Community, Our Dollars, said an announcement can be expected later today.
They Win, You Lose, a pro-"dry" committee has been taking steps to challenge the validity of signatures, as well as discouraging people from signing petitions. This has included taking pictures of unattended canvassers’ tables and signature sheets to challenge the veracity of the canvassers’ sworn statement that all signatures were gathered in their presence.
They Win, You Lose took in $5250 from M.F. Dillard, the committee’s chairwoman and a political consultant for the Conway County Legal Beverages Association, in May.
The Give Arkansas a Raise Now committee also turned in signatures for its initiative to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50, $8 and $8.50 over the next three years.
The Our Community, Our Dollars committee and the Arkansans for Compassionate Care committee (medical marijuana) have until 5 p.m. today to turn in their signatures.
UPDATE: Arkansans for Compassionate Care have conceded that they will not have enough signatures to put their initiative on the November ballot.