This year’s elections have run into a couple of snags because legislators forgot to dot some i’s and cross some t’s. In one case, the state’s new law requiring voters to present a photo ID at the ballot box or include some form of identification when voting absentee caused a problem in the Jonesboro state Senate race. The voter ID law was passed in 2013 amidst a political brouhaha, with Republicans saying it is needed to prevent fraud, and Democrats saying its real purpose is to make it harder for poor people to vote for Democrats. The law allows voters at the polls that don’t have an ID to vote provisionally and then present one by noon on the Monday after the election, but it is silent on what to do about absentee voters who don’t provide an ID.
That meant the Craighead County Election Commission didn’t know what to do with about 70 absentee ballots lacking IDs. After receiving conflicting advice from state authorities, it eventually decided to consider those ballots to be provisional. Doing the best it could under the circumstances, it bought ads in the Jonesboro Sun after the election asking absentee voters to present IDs so they could have their votes counted. Sixty-five did not get the message or decided it wasn’t worth the trouble because the election was not in doubt.
There’s been another recent example of an election law passed in 2013 with an oversight, but this one could have been more serious, and might still be.
The primary purpose of Act 1413 is to require paid signature gatherers for ballot measures to register with the state and undergo training. However, it also changed the way legislators refer proposals to voters by stripping from the attorney general the authority for writing the measures’ proper names.
Full Article: Rushed laws lead to election glitches | Arkansas News.