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Thurston says abortion ballot question did not meet requirements

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(The Center Square) – The Arkansas Secretary of State rejected a ballot question on abortion on Wednesday.

The group Arkansans for Limited Government failed to identify paid canvassers by name or provide a signed statement that a copy of the secretary of state’s handbook for canvassers was provided, according to a letter from Secretary of State John Thurston.

Even if the other requirements were met, the group failed to get the 90,704 valid signatures needed to appear on the November ballot. The number of paid canvassers was 14,143 on the “putative submission,” leaving the group 3,322 short,” Thurston said.

Arkansas’ top officials chided the group in social media posts.

“Today the far left pro-abortion crowd in Arkansas showed they are both immoral and incompetent,” Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Attorney General Tim Griffin said the group “has no one to blame but themselves.”

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision in 2022, then Gov. Asa Hutchinson and then-Attorney General Leslie Rutledge banned abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.

The ballot amendment would have allowed abortion up to 18 weeks of pregnancy and prevented the state from banning abortion in cases of rape, incest, the mother’s health or fatal fetal anomaly.

Arkansans for Limited Government did not immediately respond to an email from The Center Square seeking comment.

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