AG rejects proposal to extend county officials' terms


LITTLE ROCK — The state attorney general rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to extend the terms of county officials Friday, citing a “wholly insufficient” title and numerous ambiguities.

The problems Attorney General Dustin McDaniel found with the measure began with its ballot title, “Extending terms of certain county officials from two years to four years.”

“Although it states what the term lengths will be, it does not identify the affected offices,” McDaniel noted. “Nor does it identify the measure as a proposed constitutional amendment. The ballot title must include this information” in order to satisfy the standards for ballot initiatives set by the state Supreme Court.

He declared the title “wholly insufficient in apprising the voters of the contents of your measure.”

Among the ambiguities the attorney general cited was that the language made it unclear whether the measure would apply to officials already elected to office.

Also, McDaniel noted that the text excludes county surveyors but the exclusion is not made clear in the title, and that the text includes constables among county officials whose terms would be extended, even though constables are elected by townships.

The measure’s sponsor, David Dinwiddie of Pine Bluff, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Friday.