Proposed Arkansas Voter ID Bill Passes House

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — A bill that would require voters to show verification that they are registered to vote passed the Arkansas House of Representatives on Tuesday (Jan. 31).

House Bill 1047, filed by Rep. Mark Lowery, R- District 39, would amend Amendment 51 of the Arkansas Constitution. If passed, the bill would require each voter to verify their registration in general, special and primary elections to make sure they are legally qualified to vote.

Now, the bill will head to the Senate.

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,
  • be issued by the U.S., the state of Arkansas, or an accredited post-secondary educational institution in Arkansas,
  • not be expired more than four years before the date of the election in which the voters seeks to vote, if there’s an expiration date on the document.

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.

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.