Miller County, Ark., election officials made a last-minute adjustment to their poll worker training this week after the state Supreme Court disqualified 2 proposed constitutional amendments. (Source: KSLA News 12)
"If a voter wants to vote on those issues, they will still be able to. But those votes will not be counted," said Brandon Cogburn, who chairs the Miller County (Ark.) Election Commission. (Source: KSLA News 12)
MILLER COUNTY, AR (KSLA) -
The Miller County (Ark.) Election Commission had to make a last-minute change in curriculum this week while training those who will work the polls next month.
"Well, it happened actually during the training and we were able to notify our poll workers," said Brandon Cogburn, who chairs the panel.
What happened is the Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday struck from the November ballot a proposed amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that would have authorized 3 casinos to operate in the state, including 1 in Miller County.
Proponents of Issue 5 say that proposal would have brought more jobs and revenue to the state. Opponents argue that 2 private businesses, not the state, would reap the benefits.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office released a statement Oct. 13 taking issue with the Supreme Court’s decision. "The attorney general takes very seriously her responsibility to certify or reject ballot titles and believes that both of these measures met the standard of being impartial, honest and not misleading to the voters.”
The Miller County Election Commission is taking steps to help alleviate any voter confusion that might arise from the Supreme Court's decision.
"We will have handouts at the polls with X's over those issues," Cogburn explained. "If a voter wants to vote on those issues, they will still be able to. But those votes will not be counted."
Several Miller County leaders told KSLA News 12 that they never have been contacted by the private, out-of-state businesses that were pushing for the vote.
State Rep. Prissy Hickerson, of Texarkana, and others also said the Supreme Court's decision is the right one for Arkansas.
"Mainly because it was authorizing 2 specific entities to operate casinos," Hickerson said. "Another problem I had with it, our local city and county citizens would not have a say in what was coming into their community."
Issue 5 is one of at least two proposed constitutional amendments the Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified from the November ballots. It also disqualified Issue 4, a proposal to limit attorney contingency fees and non-economic damages in medical lawsuits.