A civil liberties group asked an Arkansas judge Tuesday to block the state from enforcing its voter ID law, saying more than 1,000 people were disenfranchised during last month’s primary election because of the requirement that they show photo identification before casting a ballot. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled last month that the voter ID requirement was unconstitutional but suspended his ruling, allowing the requirement to stay in place during the May 20 primary and June 10 runoff election. The primary was the first statewide test of the law, which took effect in January. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas on Tuesday asked Fox to lift his stay, saying 933 absentee ballots and 131 ballots cast in person during the primary were thrown out because of the new law.
“With the November 2014 general election expected to have an even greater turnout, the impact of the ‘proof of identity’ provisions on otherwise qualified Arkansas voters in the general election could be even greater,” the group said in its filing. “Should rates of disenfranchisement and voter turnout remain steady for the November General Election, potentially thousands of registered Arkansas voters could be disenfranchised in the general election.”
The ACLU of Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Law Center sued the state on behalf of four voters they said would be harmed by the law. The law allows voters who don’t show ID at the polls to cast a provisional ballot that won’t be counted unless they show ID to election officials by noon on the Monday after the election. No such “cure period” is allowed for absentee voters, who must include a copy of their ID with their ballots.
Full Article: Group asks judge to halt Arkansas voter ID law – SFGate.