2010 Arkansas Code
Title 14 - Local Government
Subtitle 2 - County Government
Chapter 14 - County Government Code
Subchapter 9 - Legislative Procedures
§ 14-14-915 - Initiative and referendum requirements.

14-14-915. Initiative and referendum requirements.

(a) Style Requirements of Petitions. A petition for county initiative or referendum filed by the electors shall:

(1) Embrace only a single comprehensive topic and shall be styled and circulated for signatures in the manner prescribed for county ordinances and amendments to ordinances established in this section and 7-9-101 et seq.;

(2) Set out fully in writing the ordinance sought by petitioners; or in the case of an amendment, set out fully in writing the ordinance sought to be amended and the proposed amendment; or in the case of referendum, set out the ordinance, or parts thereof, sought to be repealed; and

(3) Contain a written certification of legal review by an attorney at law duly registered and licensed to practice in the State of Arkansas. This legal review shall be conducted for the purpose of form, proper title, legality, constitutionality, and conflict with existing ordinances. Legal review shall be concluded prior to the circulations of the petition for signatures. No change shall be made in the text of any initiative or referendum petition measure after any or all signatures have been obtained.

(b) Time Requirements for Filing Petitions.

(1) Initiative Petitions. All petitions for initiated county measures shall be filed with the county clerk not less than ninety (90) calendar days nor more than one hundred twenty (120) calendar days prior to the date established for the next regular election.

(2) Referendum Petitions. All petitions for referendum on county measures must be filed with the county clerk within sixty (60) calendar days after passage and publication of the measure sought to be repealed.

(3) Certification. All initiative and referendum petitions must be certified sufficient to the county board of election commissioners not less than seventy (70) calendar days prior to a regular general election to be included on the ballot. If the adequacy of a petition is determined by the county clerk less than seventy (70) days prior to the next regular election, the election on the measure shall be delayed until the following regular election unless a special election is called on a referendum measure as provided by law.

(c) Filing of Petitions. Initiative and referendum petitions ordering the submission of county ordinances or measures to the electors shall be directed to and filed with the county clerk.

(d) Sufficiency of Petition. Within ten (10) days after the filing of any petition, the county clerk shall examine and ascertain its sufficiency. Where the petition contains evidence of forgery, perpetuated either by the circulator or with his or her connivance, or evidence that a person has signed a name other than his or her own to the petition, the prima facie verity of the circulator's affidavit shall be nullified and disregarded, and the burden of proof shall be upon the sponsors of petitions to establish the genuineness of each signature. If the petition is found sufficient, the clerk shall immediately certify such finding to the county board of election commissioners and the quorum court.

(e) Insufficiency of Petition and Recertification. If the county clerk finds the petition insufficient, the clerk shall, within ten (10) days after the filing thereof, notify the petitioners or their designated agent or attorney of record, in writing, setting forth in detail every reason for the findings of insufficiency. Upon notification of insufficiency of petition, the petitioners shall be afforded ten (10) calendar days, exclusive of the day notice of insufficiency is receipted, in which to solicit and add additional signatures, or to submit proof tending to show that signatures rejected by the county clerk are correct and should be counted. Upon resubmission of a petition which was previously declared insufficient, the county clerk shall, within five (5) calendar days, recertify its sufficiency or insufficiency in the same manner as prescribed in this section and, thereupon, the clerk's jurisdiction as to the sufficiency of the petition shall cease.

(f) Appeal of Sufficiency or Insufficiency Findings. Any taxpayer aggrieved by the action of the clerk in certifying the sufficiency or insufficiency of any initiative or referendum petition, may within fifteen (15) calendar days, but not thereafter, may file a petition in circuit court for a review of the findings.

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