Last week, we built the case—in a series of four posts—why the Arkansas Lottery should be abolished. Now let’s briefly talk about how to amend the Arkansas Constitution to abolish the lottery.
There are two primary ways:
Citizen Petition Drive
In Arkansas, citizens have the ability to spearhead a ballot initiative. The process takes a lot of time and energy, but it is well worth the effort—if you commit to it.
If a group of citizens gets their amendment approved by the Arkansas Attorney General and gathers enough signatures for it, the amendment will be placed on the upcoming statewide ballot for Arkansans to vote on.
This avenue was used to pass the Arkansas Marriage Amendment in 2004 and the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act in 2008. It could also be used to abolish the Arkansas Lottery by as early as 2012.
Members of the Arkansas Legislature can refer constitutional amendments to the people.
This November, for example, Arkansans will vote on an amendment that, if passed, will make hunting a constitutional right. A state legislator sponsored this measure during the 2009 legislative session, and got it passed through committee, both houses of the legislature, and signed by the governor. If voters pass the amendment this November, it will be added to the Arkansas Constitution.
The Arkansas Lottery could be abolished the very same way—particularly if enough citizens make their opposition known to the Legislature and encourage lawmakers to take action.
As we discussed last week, there is a strong case for repealing the lottery. If you missed our four-part series, here is a recap:
- Part 1: The Lottery Doesn’t Provide Enough Scholarships
- Part 2: The Lottery is doing Severe Economic Harm
- Part 3: The Lottery is doing Severe Social Harm
- Part 4: The State Has No Business in the Gambling Business
Whichever path is taken, the Arkansas Lottery should be abolished as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to our state’s economy and families.