Proposed Arkansas Bill Would Require Showing Photo ID When Voting
LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — An Arkansas representative filed a bill Tuesday (Dec. 13) that, if passed during the 2017 legislative session, would require voters to bring photo identification with them to the polls.
The bill filed by Rep. Mark Lowery, R- District 39, would amend Amendment 51 of the Arkansas Constitution that would require each voter to verify their registration in general, special and primary elections to make sure they are legally qualified to vote.
Documents or identification that would be accepted when voting in person would have to:
- show the name of the person to whom the document or ID was issued,
- show a photograph of the person to whom the document or ID was issued,
- is issued by the U.S., the state of Arkansas, or an accredited post-secondary educational institution in Arkansas,
- if there’s an expiration date, the document or ID can’t be expired more than four years before the date of the election in which the voters seeks to vote.
If a voter is submitting an absentee ballot, they would be required to send a copy of one of the following:
- driver’s license,
- photo ID card,
- concealed handgun carry license,
- U.S. passport,
- employee badge or ID,
- U.S. military ID,
- student ID card issued by an accredited post-secondary educational institution in Arkansas,
- public assistance ID,
- voter verification card.
If a voter shows up to a polling location without the required ID, they will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. That ballot will be counted if the voter returns to the county board of election commissioners or the county clerk by noon on the Monday following the election and provides proper ID.
The bill would also create a voter verification card, which will be issued by the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.
To read the full bill, click here.
The 2017 legislative session begins Jan. 9.
Currently, only first-time voters are required to show photo ID when voting if they didn’t provide a driver’s license number, ID card number or the last four digits of their Social Security number on their registration.