As expected, state lawyers on Friday appealed Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray’s decision to block the voter identification law. The judge ruled Thursday that the General Assembly had created the requirement that voters show government-approved photo identification by inserting an unsupportable contradiction in the state Constitution, which controls the election process. With early voting starting May 7, less than two weeks away, Secretary of State Mark Martin and the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners went right to the Arkansas Supreme Court rather than petition Gray to stay her own order. Martin, represented by Deputy Secretary of State A.J. Kelly, the secretary’s general counsel, and the commissioners, through Dylan Jacobs, assistant solicitor general for the Arkansas attorney general, launched separate appeals almost simultaneously Friday.
Gray’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit disputing the law’s validity by poll worker Barry Haas, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that overturned the General Assembly’s previous attempt to require voters to show identity cards at the polls.
Represented by attorney Jeff Priebe, the lawyer behind that earlier suit, the complaint was filed in February, seven months after the law went into effect. Martin’s lawyers had pushed Gray to rule much earlier, asking that she decide by April 6, the date overseas ballots were sent out. Her decision came three weeks later. In a statement, Martin complained that Gray’s ruling, by changing voting rules, would confuse voters.
Full Article: Order blocking Arkansas voter ID law appealed.