Governor Mike Beebe vetoed a bill Monday that would require voters to show identification prior to casting their ballot. Beebe, a Democrat, cited cost to taxpayers, growth in bureaucracy, and the risk of disenfranchising voters as the reason for his veto. Text from Governor’s Veto Letter: Senate Bill 2 is, then, an expensive solution in search of a problem. The Bureau of Legislative Research estimates that Senate Bill 2 will cost approximately $300,000 in tax dollars to implement; and that estimate does not take into account the ongoing costs that the taxpayers will continue to bear in future years. At a time when some argue for the reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy and for reduced government spending, I find it ironic to be presented with a bill that increases government bureaucracy and increases government expenditures, all to address a need that has not been demonstrated. I cannot approve such an unnecessary measure that would negatively impact one of our most precious rights as citizens.
Under current law, poll workers ask for identification, but if a voter does not have it they can still cast a provisional ballot that would be verified later.
It is estimated under SB2 it will cost $300,000 to provide photo ID machines and training at 87 locations throughout the state.
The House sponsor for the voter ID bill says plans are underway to override Beebe’s veto.
“I suspect it will be a 51 straight party line vote again, but we’ll try. We’ll see,” says State Rep. Stephen Meeks.
Arkansas’ attorney general said the voter ID bill would likely survive a federal court challenge, but that it would be hard to predict how an Arkansas court would rule.
Full Article: Governor Beebe Vetoes Voter ID Bill; Override Expected.