Update: Randolph County group turns in signatures for wet-dry issue

Randolph County Rejected Signatures
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - August 7 UPDATE: The group Keep Revenue in Randolph County turned in their final signatures on Sunday to get the wet-dry issue on the November ballot.

Volunteers collected more signature and received re-signatures for some of those thrown out, according to the groups Facebook page.

Now the signatures must be verified by the Randolph County Clerk.

Time is running out for the Randolph County group trying to get the wet/dry issue on the November ballot. They have until Sunday, August 7 at 5 p.m. to submit additional signatures to the county clerk's office.

Keep Revenue in Randolph County is 483 signatures shy of what's necessary to get it on the ballot.

That could change in the coming days, however, as a misinterpretation of the law caused the Randolph County Clerk's Office to throw out hundreds of potentially valid signatures.

For six months, Keep Revenue in Randolph County gathered signatures from registered voters.

Last week, they found out the county clerk's office discarded more than 900 signatures for various reasons, "bad signature" being one of them.

"We actually thought we were supposed to validate the signatures," County Clerk Rhonda Blevins said.

Blevins said even if your name and address or name and date of birth were correct, your signature could have been thrown out because of how they interpreted the law.

"Say you're 18 years old when you register to vote and then you're 60 or 70 years old, your signature is not going to look the same," Blevins said. "And we're not handwriting experts."

Blevins said they've since received further guidance from the Secretary of State's Office. She told Region 8 News that they said that signatures on the petition do not have to match what's on file.

Her office is now going back over the hundreds of pages of petitions they received to correct the mistake.

"We're gonna be camped out here until we get it done because the voter does matter to us," Blevins said.

Region 8 News spoke with Keep Revenue in Randolph County Chairperson Linda Bowlin Wednesday.

Bowlin said she doesn't believe Blevins' office did anything out of malice and she's very optimistic that they'll be able to get the necessary amount of signatures before the deadline on Sunday.

She added that not only have some people re-signed their signature to make sure it's counted, they've also had new people come through to sign the petition as well.

Bowlin said if you'd like to sign or sign the petition again if your name was discarded, they will be at 202 W. Broadway Street in Pocahontas from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Bowlin said if you are unable to make it to them, you can text her at (870) 378-6248 and they will come to you.

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