Tags: beebe | arkansas | governor | id

Arkansas Senate Passes Voter ID Measure

Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 01:39 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Arkansas Senate Tuesday passed a measure requiring photo identification for voters, but Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has not said whether he'll sign the bill.

The measure had already passed the Republican-controlled House by a 51-44 vote, reports the Huffington Post, and on Tuesday it passed the GOP-controlled Senate as well on a  22-12 vote.

If Beebe signs the bill, Arkansas will join at least three dozen other states that have voter ID laws on the books. Many of the laws, however, are being challenged in courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, and the Arkansas legislation would likely be challenged as well.

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Supporters of the measure say it will eliminate voter fraud, but opponents claim it will disenfranchise voters by making it more difficult for them to obtain a state-approved identification card.

Current state law requires Arkansas poll workers to request identification, but voters are not required to show an ID before casting a ballot. The bill passed by the legislature calls for photo ID cards to be made by county clerks at no cost for voters who do not have any other form of identification.

The bill also requires that voters without identification be allow to cast a provisional ballot. But the ballots would not be counted unless voters produce appropriate identification within a certain time period.



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