“U.S. District Court Enjoins New Arkansas Petition 3% Requirement for New Parties”


On July 3, U.S. District Court Judge Kristin G. Baker enjoined the new Arkansas petition requirement for newly-qualifying parties. Libertarian Party of Arkansas v Thurston, e.d., 4:19cv-214. Here is the 63-page order.

Earlier this year, the Arkansas legislature had increased the party petition from 10,000 signatures, to 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, which is currently 26,746 signatures. The order says, on page 49, “There is no record evidence before the Court that explains the State’s interest – let alone a compelling one – in requiring new political parties to meet the 3% requirement, file a petition more than a year in advance of the general election, and collect signatures in a 90-day window.” On page 51, the order says, “There is no record evidence of ballot overcrowding. In fact, Mr. Hood, the State of Arkansas’ own expert, conceded that a ballot with only a Democrat, a Republican, and a Libertarian would not be an overcrowded ballot.”


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