Vote “Against” on Nov. 8

Issue 2 takes power away from the People

Just the Facts about Issue 2

OVERVIEW

What would Issue 2 change?

The People of Arkansas can put measures on the ballot to change laws, make laws, or make changes to the Arkansas Constitution. Right now, the People can approve those proposed changes with a simple majority (50%+1) vote. The Arkansas Legislature can make or change laws with the same simple majority.

This amendment would change our Constitution and require that the People get 60% of the vote to adopt changes placed on the ballot. This requirement would not apply to the Legislature, allowing them to continue to make or change laws with just 50% (+1) of the vote.

The 60% requirement would also not apply to ballot referrals seeking to repeal a previously-passed law. Those would just require 50% of the vote. 

What is the Ballot Title?

The ballot title you will see is:

An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution, to be known as the “constitutional amendment and ballot initiative reform amendment”, concerning the number of votes required for approval of certain measures presented to voters; requiring that initiatives proposed under Arkansas Constitution, Article 5, § 1, 18 and constitutional amendments proposed under Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, § 22, and Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 70, § 2, shall be approved when receiving at least sixty percent (60%) of the votes cast on the proposed initiative or proposed constitutional amendment; and requiring that a measure subject to a referendum shall be repealed if the measure is rejected by a majority of the electors voting upon the matter.

What is the full text?

Commentary on how to read this:

  • Text that is underlined is being added
  • Text that is struck through is being deleted or changed

SECTION 1. TITLE. This amendment shall be known and may be cited as the “Constitutional Amendment and Ballot Initiative Reform Amendment”.

SECTION 2. The subsection of Arkansas Constitution, Article 5, § 1, titled “Majority”, is amended to read as follows:

Majority Approval. Any measure submitted to the people as herein provided shall take effect and become a law when approved by a majority at least sixty percent (60%) of the votes cast upon such measure, and not otherwise, and shall not be required to receive a majority of the electors voting at such election. Such measures shall be operative on and after ththirtieth day after the election at which it is approved, unless otherwise specified in the Act measure. However, a measure subject to a referendum shall be repealed if it is rejected by a majority of the electors voting upon the matter.
This section shall not be construed to deprive any member of the General Assembly of the right to introduce any measure, but no measure shall be submitted to the people by the General Assembly, except a proposed constitutional amendment or amendments as provided for in this Constitution.

SECTION 3. The subsection of Arkansas Constitution, Article 5, § 1, titled “Conflicting Measures”, is amended to read as follows:

Conflicting Measures. If conflicting measures initiated or referred to the people shall be approved by a majority at least sixty percent (60%) of the votes severally cast for and against the same at the same election, the one receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall become law.

SECTION 4. Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, § 22, is amended to readas follows:

§ 22. Constitutional amendments.
Either branch of the General Assembly, at a regular session thereof,may propose amendments to this Constitution; and if the same be agreed to by a majority of all members elected to each house, such proposed amendments shall be entered on the journals with the yeas and nays, and published in at least one newspaper in each county, where a newspaper is published, for six months immediately preceding the next general election for Senators and Representatives, at which time the same shall be submitted to the electors of the State, for approval or rejection; and if a majority at least sixty percent (60%) of the electors voting at such election adopt such amendments, the same shall become a part of this Constitution. But no more than three amendments shall be proposed or submitted at the same time. They shall be so submitted as to enable the electors to vote on each amendment separately.

SECTION 5. Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 70, § 2, is amended to read as follows:
§ 2. Additional Constitutional amendments authorized.
In addition to the three amendments to the Constitution allowed pursuant to Article 19, § 22, either branch of the General Assembly at a regular session thereof may propose an amendment to the Constitution to change the salaries for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Commissioner of State Lands, and Auditor of State and for members of the General Assembly. If the same be agreed to by a majority of all members elected to each house, such proposed amendment shall be entered on the journals with the yeas and nays, and published in at least one newspaper in each county, where a newspaper is published, for six months immediately preceding the next general election for Senators and Representatives, at which time the same shall be submitted to the electors of the State for approval or rejection. If a majority at least sixty percent (60%) of the electors voting at such election adopt the amendment the same shall become a part of this Constitution. Only one amendment to the Constitution may be referred pursuant to this section.

SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE. This amendment shall be effective on and after January 1, 2023.

SECTION 7. BALLOT TITLE AND POPULAR NAME. When this proposed amendment is submitted to the electors of this state on the general election ballot:
(1) The title of this joint resolution shall be the ballot title; and

(2) The popular name shall be “A Constitutional Amendment to Reform Certain Measures Presented to Voters, to be Known as the “Constitutional Amendment and Ballot Initiative Reform Amendment”.

How did Issue 2 get on the Ballot?

The Arkansas Legislature voted in April to refer it to the November election ballot.

What does a “for” or “against” vote do?

  • A vote FOR Issue 2 is a vote to change our Arkansas Constitution and raise the threshold for citizens to make or change laws to 60% (+1 vote).
  • A vote AGAINST Issue 2 would keep the our Arkansas Constitution and the citizen vote threshold the same (50% +1 vote)