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Groups submit signatures for ballot initiatives

Four groups turned in signatures ahead of the deadline Friday for various measures to appear on the November ballot, including one just ahead of the 5pm deadline.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - At least three groups turned in signatures ahead of the deadline Friday for various measures to appear on the November ballot.

The signatures rolled in on Friday, box by box, page after page. Sheffield Nelson with his proposal to increase the severance tax on natural gas drillers needs 62,507 valid signatures.

Nelson told reporters Friday he turned in 69, 717 signatures.

"I feel good about our filing. I've had people doing a lot more than I anticipated them doing," Nelson says.

It's one of the busiest days for the Secretary of State's office, sorting through signatures. The office will spend the next 30 days verifying each signature.

Canvassers for Nancy Todd's Poker Palace handed in their signatures on Friday which would bring casino gambling to four Arkansas counties.

"It's not like we're introducing something Arkansans are not very familiar with when you go to every single border town,” Todd says.

Todd has already faced opposition from an anti-casino group. She expects more through November.

They get to tell their side, I get to tell my side and people get to vote on it. That's all I've ever asked since this started. Let the people decide if they want to have casinos here," Todd says.

Groups are allowed to continue collecting signatures while the Secretary of State's office works on verifying what's already been turned in.

Michael Wasserman, a Texas based hotel owner, delivered signatures just before the 5pm deadline to place his casino initiative on the ballot as well.

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