Vote for Issue 3 will decrease our own rights


Dear editor: 


Regnat Populus. This is the motto for the State of Arkansas. Latin for “The People Rule”. The power of the people to rule their own lives with a voice in their own government is the basis for all Democracy and it should be held sacred.  

On the ballot this November is a proposal that cripples that right. Issue 3, ‘Changing the Citizen-initiated Ballot Issue Process’, makes it much harder for citizens to get their voices heard and get their own initiatives on the ballot. Arkansas is a state where, with enough signatures, people can get a proposal on the ballot for a vote. Issue 3 is an assault on this right. 

What does Issue 3 do? First, it changes the deadline to have signatures submitted to get a proposal on the ballot. Currently the deadline is four months prior to the general election. Issue 3 changes that deadline to January 15th of the year the election is held. This gives petitioners five fewer months to collect the required number of signatures. Second, Issue 3 changes the number of counties from where signatures must be collected. Currently, signatures from 15 different counties are required. Issue 3 changes that to 3/5 of all State counties, or 45 counties. Petitioners will have to get signatures from 30 more counties, even if they can get the required number of signatures from 15. Third, as of right now, if the legislative body gives itself or any of the State officers a raise it must be published in at least one newspaper in each county that has a published newspaper, for six months prior to a general election. This newspaper would be informing the citizens of Madison County when the legislative body gives itself a raise. That provision in its entirety is struck from the Constitution and we are left in the dark.

For a group of legislators whose mantra is a smaller government, this is in direct violation of their own principles and drastically reduces our power as citizens to rule ourselves. A vote ‘for’ Issue 3 will severely decrease our own rights and will render Regnat Populus down to a shell of its former self.


-Derek Donahou

Chairman

Madison County Democratic Central Committee


 

*This information was gathered from:   www.uaex.edu/business-communities/voter-education/state-ballot-issues.aspx