An Arkansas Senate committee on Thursday recommended that the upper chamber approve both a proposed constitutional amendment and a bill on the same topic — requiring voters to show a photo identification in order to cast ballots. House Bill 1047 is by Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle. The proposed constitutional amendment is House Joint Resolution 1016 by Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs. If the Senate approves HJR1016, it would appear on the ballot in the November 2018 general election. If the House concurs with a Senate amendment to HB1047, the bill will go to the governor. Proponents of both measures contend that they will increase voter confidence and guard against voter fraud. Opponents counter there is little fraud of this kind, and the identification burden on voters would unduly restrict the right to vote.
The Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee endorsed the latest version of Lowery’s legislation, after Lowery said the bill was amended to clarify that a provisional ballot cast by a voter may be counted rather than require the ballot to be counted. The bill would allow a voter, if he doesn’t present photo identification, to sign a sworn statement attesting to his identity under the penalty of perjury. A provisional ballot would be counted after the voter’s signature is verified on his voter registration card, Lowery said.
Under the bill, a voter casting a provisional ballot also may return to the county board of election commissioners or the county clerk by noon on the Monday after the election and present a document or identification card that complies with the legislation for his ballot to be counted. The legislation also would require voters who submit an absentee ballot to enclose a copy of a document or identification card.
Full Article: Panel OKs 2 voter-ID proposals | NWADG.