Open Primaries Arkansas adds 50,000 signatures to qualify for ballot

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Stephanie Matthews,

Brings total submitted signatures to more than 140,000 for nonpartisan measure to give voters more choices

LITTLE ROCK (August 20, 2020) – Open Primaries Arkansas, a committee to improve the integrity of our elections and give Arkansas voters more choices, today submitted an additional 50,000 signatures to the 94,913 already turned in to qualify for the November 3, 2020 ballot.

The Open Primaries Arkansas proposal is supported by a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and independents. It would take power away from the extreme wings of both parties and give average citizens more choices in November, ensuring their voices are heard to elect leaders who will stop partisan bickering and fix our state’s problems. 

State Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, chairman of the Open Primaries Arkansas ballot question committee, urged the Arkansas Supreme Court to let voters have a say in the November election.

“These signatures represent the voices of Arkansans who want to see elected leaders work together to get things done,” Douglas said. “In these highly partisan times, the best way to make that happen is with the Open Primaries Arkansas proposal. A recent survey from the League of Women Voters of Arkansas showed 89 percent of voters want a chance to cast ballots on this matter. We call on the state Supreme Court to let Arkansans vote on this amendment.”

The proposal creates an open primary election system where candidates for United States Congress, Arkansas General Assembly, and state constitutional officers appear on a single primary election ballot available to all eligible voters. Any voter can vote for any candidate regardless of whether they identify as Republican, Democrat or have no party affiliation. In the general election, voters will have the option to rank the four candidates in order of preference, just as military personnel voting in the Arkansas general election from outside the state do today, to ensure the candidate with majority support is the definitive winner.