|Updated: 9/06/2012 5:38 pm
||Published: 9/06/2012 12:55 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Supporters of a casino amendment argued to the Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday they should receive an extra 30 days to collect signatures just like every other ballot measure received.
Over 84,000 signatures rolled in two months ago for a casino initiative. But after reviewing signatures, the Secretary of State said Arkansas Hotels and Entertainment fell short in a key category.
The constitution says you must collect signatures totaling 5% of votes from the last gubernatorial election in 15 counties. The idea, keep petitioners from collecting all their signatures in a high-population county like Pulaski.
"We are not permitted to give 30 additional days if you don't qualify on both of those requirements, 10 percent and 5 and 15, on the day you submit on July 6th of this year," A.J. Kelly says.
But Michael Wasserman and his attorney John Harmon say the Secretary of State is overreaching.
"Just follow the statute, tell us how many signatures we're short, give us 30 days & the opportunity to make that up," Harmon says.
After the nearly one hour hearing Wasserman says there's still time to collect signatures.
"Assuming a positive ruling today, we'll be on the streets tomorrow," Wasserman says. "Instead of 400,000 votes, we're in the hands of four votes. And we'll see how the court rules."
Now they have to wait for the Supreme Court to decide.
Harmon added if the court ruled in favor of the Secretary of State, in his words, it would make him more powerful than the governor, giving him too much discretion on what issues make the ballot.