Arkansas’ highest court is set to take up a case this week that could decide whether the state’s voters will be required to show photo identification at the polls in the November election. The state Supreme Court on Thursday is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the lawsuit over Arkansas’ voter ID law, which took effect in January. With a U.S. Senate race that could determine which party controls that chamber, how the court rules could have national implications. … The Republican-led Legislature approved the voter ID law last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. At the time, Beebe called the proposal an “expensive solution in search of a problem.”
Under the law, which took effect Jan. 1, voters who don’t show photo identification are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. That ballot would be counted only if they provide an ID to county election officials or sign an affidavit stating they are indigent or have a religious objection to being photographed by noon Monday following the election. Absentee voters are required to include a copy of their ID — or some other government document such as a utility bill that shows their name and address — with their ballots, but the law doesn’t include a cure period if they don’t. The law also requires Arkansas to provide free photo IDs to voters who don’t have one.
… The state is appealing Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox’s decision in May that the law violated Arkansas’ constitution. Fox suspended his ruling, however, allowing the state to continue enforcing the voter ID law. The law is still in effect while the court hears the appeal.
Full Article: Arguments set this week in Arkansas voter ID case – SFGate.