Gov. Beebe Vetoes Photo Identification Bill

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Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe vetoed Senate Bill 2, a bill that would require voters to carry photo identification to the polls, Monday (March 25).

The governor also believes the bill would unnecessarily cost taxpayers money, grow bureaucracy and risk disenfranchisement of voters, according to a statement from his office.

He released the following statement:

“Senate Bill 2 is, then, an expensive solution in search of a problem. The Bureau of Legislative Research estimates that Senate Bill 2 will cost approximately $300,000 in tax dollars to implement; and that estimate does not take into account the ongoing costs that the taxpayers will continue to bear in future years. At a time when some argue for the reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy and for reduced government spending, I find it ironic to be presented with a bill that increases government bureaucracy and increases government expenditures, all to address a need that has not been demonstrated. I cannot approve such an unnecessary measure that would negatively impact one of our most precious rights as citizens.”

Under current law, those who try to vote without a photo I.D. are still allowed to vote at their polling site, but they must verify their photo I.D. at the courthouse.

If Senate Bill 2 became law, voters who do not have a photo I.D. would be turned away.