The state Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday approved rules necessary to implement a new voter-identification law, clearing the way for ballots to be cast under the legislation as soon as September. Instead of asking for photo identification — but not requiring it — the proposed rules and Act 633 of 2017, by Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, make the process more straightforward, said Keith Rutledge, director of the Board of Election Commissioners. “We’ve had some complaints on that over the past year,” he said. “This pretty much will clear that up. You either show me your ID or you sign this affidavit — basically.” The law and the proposed rules tell voters to show photo identification before casting ballots, but allow people without photo identification to sign a sworn statement saying they are registered voters in Arkansas.
As long as the affidavit is present, the provisional ballot “shall be counted when the county board makes its initial determination so long as there is no additional reason, unrelated to the verification of the voter’s registration, that would also cause the ballot to be treated as provisional.”
Daniel Shults, legal counsel for the board, said the rules essentially create a new sort of provisional ballot that’s automatically counted unless there’s a red flag.
Full Article: Election panel endorses rules under ID law.