The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared election officials to enforce the state’s controversial voter-ID law in this month’s primary and judicial elections. Only last week, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray declared the 2017 law unconstitutional, but the high court, in a one-page order, halted Gray’s injunction. Since August last year, the law — Act 633 of 2017 — has required voters to show government-issued identification to poll workers to ensure their votes are counted. Secretary of State Mark Martin appealed Gray’s ruling, asking the state’s high court to stay the circuit judge’s decision until after the May 22 election, when the matter can be fully heard. Chief Justice John Dan Kemp would’ve denied Martin’s request, the court’s order notes. Early voting for the May 22 primary begins Monday.
Martin had asked the Supreme Court to expedite its review of the case with a federal deadline looming Friday for mailing certain absentee and overseas ballots.
“The Supreme Court’s prompt attention to this matter, on an emergency basis, gives the county clerks and county boards of election commissioners reassurance that the year-long preparations for the election have not been wasted,” Martin’s office said in a Wednesday statement.