Lo­cal elec­tions first test for re­vived voter ID law

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

LIT­TLE ROCK | Arkansas’ re­vived law re­quir­ing vot­ers to show photo iden­ti­fi­ca­tion be­fore cast­ing a bal­lot will be put to the test — and come un­der height­ened scru­tiny by op­po­nents who fear the new mea­sure could lead to

dis­en­fran­chise­ment — when it takes ef­fect this week.

Vot­ers head­ing to the polls early in three cities and two coun­ties Tues­day for special elec­tions on sales tax mea­sures will be re­quired to show photo ID be­fore cast­ing a bal­lot, or sign a sworn state­ment con­firm­ing their iden­tity un­der the law ap­proved by the Leg­is­la­ture ear­lier this year. The mea­sure re­vives a sim­i­lar voter ID re­stric­tion that was struck down by the state’s high­est court three years ago.

The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union, which suc­cess­fully chal­lenged Arkansas’ pre­vi­ous voter ID law, said it’ll be watch­ing care­fully to see how the lat­est re­stric­tion is en­forced dur­ing early vot­ing and on the Aug. 8 elec­tion day to

pre­pare for another po­ten­tial law­suit if vot­ers are be­ing dis­en­fran­chised.

Thirty-four states have laws re­quir­ing or re­quest­ing vot­ers show some form of voter ID at the polls, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Con­fer­ence of State Leg­is­la­tures. Arkansas en­acted a sim­i­lar voter ID law in 2013, but it was struck down by the state Supreme Court the fol­low­ing year.

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