The Arkansas Democratic Party is lowering filing fees to run for state offices.

It also appointed an audit committee, in response to complaints made about Party Chair Michael John Gray’s management by Little Rock lawyer Matt Campbell.

The party release:

(1) The Executive Committee voted to lower filing fees for certain state House and state Senate elections.

  • Reduce filing fees for House races which haven’t been contested in the past two cycles by 50% to $1,500.

  • Reduce filing fees for House races which haven’t been contested in the past three cycles by 75% to $750.

  • Reduce filing fees for Senate races which will be contested in 2020 and haven’t been contested in two cycles by 50% to $2,250.

  • Reduce filing fees for Senate races which will be contested in 2022 and haven’t been contested in the last three cycles by 75% to $1,1012.50.

(2) The Executive Committee voted to change the petition access route for candidate ballot access.

  • Filing fees shall be waived if the candidate collects signatures from 3% of the registered voters in the district which they run. Signatures collected from registered Republicans will not be counted.

  • If filing by petition the candidate must give written notice to the Secretary of the Party of their intent to become a candidate in the primary election. Candidates can begin filing notice immediately for the 2020 cycle. The Party shall provide petition forms to candidates.

  • Nomination petitions shall be submitted to the DPA beginning October 23 and ending October 25, 2019. A receipt shall be given to the candidate indicating the date received and noting the total number of signatures submitted. DPA staff shall verify signatures and notify the candidate of its findings not later than the beginning date for candidate filing of November 4, 2019. There is no cure period after submission.

  • Candidate filing by nomination petition found insufficient of the requisite number of signatures would be required to pay the filing fee to obtain ballot access during the actual filing fee period between boon on November 4 ending at noon November 12 (weekends and holidays excluded).

(3) The Chairman’s plans to form an Audit Coordination Committee were approved by the Executive Committee.

  • The committee will be chaired by the Honorable Lottie Shackelford and the Honorable Dustin McDaniel, two of the DPA’s Democratic National Committee representatives.

  • The Executive Committee will approve the Audit Coordination Committee’s membership and be the recipient of its reports.

  • The Audit Coordination Committee will begin its duties immediately. It will oversee the implementation of the audit, including seeking estimates and identifying firms, and oversee the collection of information related to the audit.