A bill that would have eliminated early voting in Arkansas on the last Monday before Election Day failed on the House floor Tuesday. Senate Bill 485 by Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, failed three times in a Senate committee before it was signed out and taken to the Senate floor, then took two tries to advance from a House committee. It failed in the House on a 43-39 vote, falling 12 votes short of the simply majority of 51 it needed to pass. House sponsor Rep. Justin Gonzales, R-Okolona, and supporters of the bill said it would provide more time for poll workers to get ready for Election Day without having to work long hours that Monday. Voting-rights organizations and lawmakers who opposed the bill equated it with voter suppression, and said election officials they’d spoken to didn’t see a need for a change. More than 30 people rallied in the Capitol rotunda Tuesday morning and lined the steps to the House chamber, urging lawmakers to vote down the bill. Arkansas has 13 days of early voting. If enacted, SB485 would have reduced that number to 12 and would have made the last Saturday before the election the final day of early voting.
Full Article: House rejects bill to lop day of early voting