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Secretary of State throws out Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024

Pro-choice groups gathered at the capitol last week to celebrate the signature collection which has now been thrown out.
Josie Lenora
Little Rock Public Radio
Pro-choice groups gathered at the capitol last week to celebrate the amendment garnering over 101,000 signatures.

An amendment to legalize abortion in Arkansas has been thrown out for procedural errors.

The Secretary of State's office sent a letter on Wednesday announcing the decision to reject the Arkansas Abortion Amendment. The amendment was sponsored by the group Arkansans for Limited Government. They said they had collected over 101 thousand signatures to put the amendment on the ballot, surpassing the 90,704 threshold.

Secretary of State John Thurston said he could not certify the amendment because the sponsors did not submit two specific pieces of paperwork. The first was a list of paid canvassers and the second was a document proving that paid canvassers had access to the signature gathering handbook. The office said they were then forced to throw out the over 14 thousand signatures collected by paid employees. This means the canvassers did not collect enough signatures to put their amendment on the ballot.

The amendment would have legalized abortion up to 18 weeks of pregnancy and made exceptions to for abortion in the case of rape, incest, or risk to the life of the mother.

This comes less than a week after sponsors celebrated collecting enough signatures to put their issue on the ballot. They gathered at the state capital and cheered as the signatures were rolled into the secretary of state's office. The group had been working since February using a mostly volunteer group of people to collect signatures.

In a statement, Arkansas for Limited Government said their legal team is reviewing the letter.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.