LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A bill filed with the Arkansas legislature on Monday would change special elections throughout the state.
House Bill 1510 proposed cutting back on the months when a special election may be held. It also tightens up the definition of an emergency for special elections.
The new bill proposes that special elections could only be held in March or November in presidential election years or May or November in nonpresidential election years.
Currently, a special election may be held in March, May, August or November in presidential election years or in February, May, August or November in nonpresidential years.
The bill allows special elections at any time for an emergency. An emergency would be one of three events: a court ruling that changes if a governing body can continue to operate, a natural disaster, or an imminent danger to public health and safety.
Under any of those circumstances, if two-thirds of a governing entity calls for an emergency election, it is authorized to hold one. The ability to challenge a special election remains unchanged.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. David Ray (R-Maumelle) and Sen. John Payton (R-Wilburn) with 41 House and 11 Senate cosponsors.