Minimum wage raise to appear on Ark. ballot

Arkansans will have a chance to vote on whether to raise the statewide minimum wage during the November election.

Secretary of State Mark Martin announced Tuesday that the Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage has met signature requirements and will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The petition, if passed, will raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 over the next three years. The initiative needed 62,507 verified signatures to appear on the ballot. After the initial count, the initiative fell short on the required number of signatures and supporters were given 30 days to collect additional signatures.

An additional 69,070 signatures were turned in on Aug. 18. The Secretary of State's office verified the signatures and announced Sept. 3 that the petition had met the requirements.

Martin stated that Give Arkansas A Raise Now, the organization supporting the initiative, submitted more than 70,000 valid signatures from registered voters. Signatures are still being counted according to Martin, so the number of valid signatures may be increased.

According to the Associated Press, the measure has been embraced by state Democrats who hope to use the issue to turn out the vote in an election in which they are trying to prevent a Republican sweep of statewide offices.

The proposed act has been certified and will appear as Issue No. 5 on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Oct. 6 is the deadline to register to vote for the general election. Information on voter registration can be found of the Arkansas Secretary of State's website at