For AR People has joined a coalition known as Protect AR Vote, which filed as a Legislative Question Committee today to formally oppose the legislature’s 2022 referred amendment. If approved by voters this fall, the referred amendment would require a 60% voter approval for citizen-driven ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments. Right now voters need only a simple majority to pass ballot initiatives.

The opposed referendum is one of the legislature’s many attempts to squash citizen-led direct democracy in Arkansas. Last year Arleg passed several anti-direct democracy bills that erode public power and participation in the democratic process, including changes to signature gathering and paid canvasser requirements. A simple majority of voters can decide to amend the Arkansas constitution or to pass popular issues, like medical marijuana and increase in minimum wage. Yet those in power still want to make it harder for regular Arkansans to have a say in making our state better. In essence, legislators and lobbyists do not want you to have power as citizens.

Ballot measures give citizens of our state the power to make laws when politicians fail to do their jobs. Don’t let politicians and special interests change the system that has served Arkansas well for the past 112 years…If they get rid of ballot measures as we know them in Arkansas, it will mean more power for lobbyists, more backroom deals, and less power for voters to decide on the issues that matter most. -Bonnie Miller

For AR People is proud to be part of the Protect AR Vote Coalition to defeat the legislature’s attack on citizen-driven democracy. Read the coalition’s press release here and stay tuned for how we will fight to retain our direct power in Arkansas.