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Ark. Legislature Passes Bill That Would Require Voters To Show ID

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — The Arkansas Legislature approved a bill on Monday (March 20) that would require voters to show a form of identification or verification that they’re registered to vote before casting their ballots.

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

The bill is now heading to the governor’s desk.

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 agrees to sign a sworn statement under penalty of perjury, or if they return by noon the following Monday with the proper identification documents.

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.