An Arkansas Constable Abolishment Amendment did not make the November 2012 ballot in the state of Arkansas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have abolished the offices of constables across the state. The proposal was sponsored by State Senator Sue Madison. Madison explained, "I just feel it's time that Arkansas move on and realize it's time, we don't need constables. I feel like it is an archaic office. Now we have police departments for cities, towns, we have sheriff's office, they're trained, they have expertise in their area." Constable Vince Scarlata, an elected constable serving Oak Grove Township in Lonoke County, called the proposal "bogus" and didn't think it would pass. The Arkansas Legislature can only send three legislatively-referred constitutional amendments to the ballot each election year. Since three amendments have already been sent to the ballot by the legislature, this amendment will not be on the 2012 ballot.
Text of measure
Article 7, Sections 47 and 48 of the Arkansas Constitution would have been amended to read as follows:
- § 47. Constables — Office abolished.
- The Office of Constable is abolished.
- § 48. Commissions of officers.
- All officers provided for in this article shall be commissioned by the Governor.
The current version reads as follows:
- § 47. Constables - Term of Office - Certificate of Election
- The qualified electors of each township shall elect the Constable for the term of two years, who shall be furnished, by the presiding Judge of the County Court, with a certificate of election, on which his official oath shall be indorsed.
- § 48. Commissions of Officers
- All officers provided for in this article, except Constables, shall be commissioned by the Governor
Path to the ballot
A majority vote is required in both chambers of the Arkansas State Legislature to refer a measure to the ballot, according to Section 22, Article 19, Arkansas Constitution.