This Arkansas News story says that the Arkansas legislature frquently makes mistakes when it drafts election law bills. The article gives examples. The article does not mention that in 2013, the legislature moved the petition for non-presidential independent candidates from May to March, and moved the petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties from May to January. Both laws will be held unconstitutional if they are challenged.
There are already three past federal court decisions striking down Arkansas deadlines for non-presidential independent candidates that are that early, and one of them was summarily affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Ironically, the same individual, Jim Lendall, filed all three cases, which were won in 1974, 1976, and 1988.
There are also two reported federal court decisions striking down such early petition deadlines for newly-qualifying parties in Arkansas, one won by the American Party in 1977 and one won by the Reform Party in 1996.