Tags: Arkansas | voter | ID | unconstitutional

Arkansas Voter ID Law Ruled Unconstitutional by State Court

Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 09:14 PM

An Arkansas law requiring voters to show proof of identification was struck down by the state’s highest court in a victory for Democrats and civil rights groups that argue such laws are designed to help Republicans by turning away poor, minority and elderly citizens at the polls.

An Arkansas voter must be a U.S. citizen, a state resident, at least 18 and lawfully registered to vote under the state constitution, which doesn’t include a proof-of-identity requirement, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled today.

“To hold otherwise would disenfranchise Arkansas voters and would ‘negate the object sought to be accomplished’ by the framers of the Arkansas constitution,” the justices said in upholding a lower-court ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Lawsuits over voting rights have intensified in the run-up to this year’s Nov. 4 election with fights over proof of identity, proof of citizenship, balloting hours and composition of electoral districts. Opponents of identification requirements argue the laws suppress turnout by voters who are likely to support Democrats.

Both houses of the Arkansas general assembly passed the measure last year and overrode Democratic Governor Mike Beebe’s veto. Early voting starts as much as 15 days before election day in Arkansas, according to the secretary of state website.

Texas’ voter-identification law, struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge, was reinstated yesterday by a federal appeals court that said it can be enforced for the Nov. 4 election, in a ruling that could help Republicans.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 9 blocked Wisconsin’s new voter photo-identification law, heeding calls from civil rights groups that said hasty implementation of the measure would mean widespread confusion in the Nov. 4 elections. The high court allowed restrictions to remain in place in North Carolina and Ohio, according to Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

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An Arkansas law requiring voters to show proof of identification was struck down by the state's highest court in a victory for Democrats and civil rights groups that argue such laws are designed to help Republicans by turning away poor, minority and elderly citizens at the...
Arkansas, voter, ID, unconstitutional
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2014-14-15
Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 09:14 PM
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