Our Voices Arkansas

The Voices of Grassroots Conservatives Across Arkansas

Dec 25, 2011

No More Special Elections?

What if all tax increases had to be approved by voters? And what if we have all elections on "Election Day?" A conservative activist group wants to put just such an amendment to the state Constitution on our November 2012 ballot.  This issue is near to our hearts and a personal favorite. How many taxes...

by OurVoicesAR

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What if all tax increases had to be approved by voters? And what if we have all elections on "Election Day?"

A conservative activist group wants to put just such an amendment to the state Constitution on our November 2012 ballot.  This issue is near to our hearts and a personal favorite.

How many taxes are levied on "We the People" due to special elections, where a small minority of voters determines for everyone?  Voter turnout for special elections is historically very, very low.  If it's your issue, just alert all your business contacts, your network, your friends, and your family and ask them to go vote for your deal.

With low voter turnout, chances are the overwhelming response of your contacts swings the vote in your favor. Easy, huh?

And, all the taxpayers (that would be YOU) get to pay for each one of those special elections — the last one in Conway cost over three-quarters-of-a-million dollars!

Are special elections a fiscally responsible way to obtain voter approval?

Glenn Gallas (2010 GOP nominee for Arkansas' Fourth Congressional District and frequent guest on Dave Elswick's radio show), reports that the Voter Approval Amendment Committee submitted to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel an Arkansas constitutional amendment that would require every tax to be put to a vote and would eliminate special elections.

Committee members include Republicans, Democrats, independents, businessmen, and retirees who want voters to have a larger voice on taxes levied by state and local government.

In mid-December, Gallas said their proposed amendment and the ballot title was denied by McDaniel, who cited "ambiguities in the text." McDaniel also pointed out that, "while the text of your proposal is brief and fairly simple, its adoption would change current law in numerous and complex ways…" regarding taxes currently collected without voter approval, and other taxes for which the law currently mandates a special election.

Excuse me … Wouldn't that be THE POINT of the proposed amendment?

Challenging the current special election method, Gallas says the proposal is a "voter participation" issue, not anti-tax. "Elections can only be representative of the will of the people when the voters participate," and with sometimes less than a 10% turnout, special elections don't meet that standard.

The group will submit a new proposal for McDaniel's certification as soon as possible.  Once approval is obtained, the next step is to gather 78,133 registered state voters' signatures to put the proposal on the ballot, and that step must be completed no later than July, 2012 (four months before the November 2012 general election).

Time is certainly of the essence here. The proposal is designed to "ensure the will of the people is properly represented," Gallas asserts. "Who would not want the voice of the people to be heard?" WE HEAR YA!

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