Federal Judge James M. Moody Jr. has set a hearing at 11 a.m. Friday on the lawsuit urging im to order state election officials to post prominent notice at all polling places that votes for Issue 7, the marijuana initiated act, will not count because of an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling.
Three voters were plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Wednesday. They said the order was necessary because of confusion caused by the Supreme Court’s order striking down the initiative last Thursday, after early voting began Monday and more than 100,000 had cast ballots.
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Notice of Issue 7’s invalidity hasn’t been uniform around the state. And even where it has been posted, it hasn’t been conspicuous.
The driving force behind this lawsuit isthe desire to let supporters of medical marijuana known that ONLY votes for Issue 6, the amendment, will count. That became ironclad today with the Arkansas Supreme Court’s refusal to rehear its earlier decision.
The federal lawsuit also asks the judge to consider authorizing new ballots for all those who voted before the Supreme Court ruled. Some of those conceivably could have been supporters of Issue 7 who did not vote for Issue 6, but might have done so had they known Issue 7 would be invalidated.
One remedy suggested in the lawsuit is a notice similar to that shown at the top on a sheet of paper handed to every voter — or posted multiple times in prominent locations.