Open Primaries Arkansas says it will submit 50,000 more signatures Thursday to qualify its proposed constitutional amendment to change primary voting in Arkansas.
The Republican secretary of state rejected the original round of petitions, but the group appealed. A special master found that the group had met the facial requirement for 89,000 signatures and thus should qualify to continue gathering signatures should any ultimately be disqualfied, but a key question of law is left for the Supreme Court on whether the group satisfied a state law requiring criminal background checks for paid canvassers. The law is unmeetable as far as getting a federal background check is concerned because the State Police can’t perform it, as statute requires.
The amendment would end party primaries. All candidates for Congress and state offices, regardless of party affiliation, would compete in an open primary. In the general election, voters would rank the top four finishers in order of preference, just as military personnel voting absentee do to ensure the candidate with majority support is the definitive winner.
The Republican Party of Arkansas opposes the proposal.