For Immediate Release
Martin Announces Certification of Independent Candidate Petitions
(May 8, 2012) LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced the certification of six petitions submitted by independent candidates for the state legislature.
“Our Elections staff has been working since the petitions were filed, to verify signatures,” Martin said Monday. “Today we notified the certified candidates of their completion, and we’re continuing verification of the remaining petitions.”
Eight independent hopefuls submitted petitions to be included on the ballot in November’s general election. Seven candidates are seeking seats in the House of Representatives; the eighth seeks a Senate seat.
Martin said six of the eight petitions had been certified by close of business Monday. The remaining two are nearing completion, he said.
The number of signatures required varies by the specific district’s number of votes cast during the last gubernatorial election.
“Due to the new district lines drawn during the redistricting process, we had to do a lot of research to make sure we had the correct numbers,” Martin said. "All voters had to be moved to the correct district."
Independent candidates were required to file paperwork during the candidate filing period earlier this year, then gather petition signatures. The deadline for independent candidates for the state legislature to file petitions with the Secretary of State’s office was Tuesday, May 1.
Green and Libertarian candidates are selected by party caucus rather than by primary election.
Therefore, independent candidates and candidates from the Green and Libertarian parties will only appear on ballots in the November General Election.
Democratic and Republican candidates pay a filing fee to their political parties during the filing period to appear on the Preferential Primary Election ballot. The primary elections are May 22; early voting began Monday.
The certified independent candidates include: Ronnie Spence (House district 57); James E. George (House district 41); Dennis Knapp (House district 64); Mark Moore (House district 95); Anton Such (House district 99); and Peter Sam Cyphers (House district 6).