Voter Approval Amendment Supporters to Try Again

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 66 views 

As reported on Talk Politics last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel struck down the language in a ballot title for a constitutional amendment aimed at requiring direct approval of voters for tax increases in Arkansas.  However, the group behind the movement tells me this weekend that they plan to try again.  The committee recently regrouped to work on redrafting the proposal.

“We expected our first draft to be rejected by the Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office” said former Democrat Rep. Mark Riable, attorney for the committee who submitted the initial text for the ballot proposal. “We are already drafting the second version of the amendment that addresses the AG’s concerns. We know that amending the Arkansas Constitution is a very serious matter and we want the people in Arkansas to be absolutely sure of the purpose and intent of this important amendment.”

“This is not an ‘anti-tax’ issue but rather a voter participation issue”, said Glenn Gallas, former Congressional candidate and leader of the Arkansas Taxpayer League. “Tax elections can be currently scheduled anytime as long as the requirements are met for such election. The challenge to this method of initiating tax elections is that it lends itself to extremely low voter turnout. Elections can only be representative of the will of the people when the voters participate,” said Gallas. Special elections can have turnouts of less than 10%. Elections held during regularly scheduled elections have turnouts of 35% to over 50%. Scheduling tax elections during elections that have higher voter turnouts will ensure the will of the people is properly represented.”

“What politician would not want the voice of the people to be heard through the ballot box?” asked Gallas.