Groups suing over new petition requirements

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Two groups are suing Arkansas over a new law that places new restrictions on gathering signatures to place proposals on the ballot.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Law Center on Thursday challenged the constitutionality of several parts of the law, which was aimed at overhauling the state's initiative and referenda process.

The provisions being challenged include one requiring campaigns register their paid signature gatherers with the state, something that's not required of volunteers. The groups say in the lawsuit that the new requirements will effectively discourage Arkansans from engaging in petition drives.

The law was passed after thousands of invalid signatures were turned in for measures that supporters wanted to put on the ballot last year.