A lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the state’s new voter-identification law is just as flawed as the one the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional almost four years ago. The 23-page petition asks Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray to similarly rule that Act 633 of 2017 is illegal. The law requires voters, in order to guarantee that their ballots are counted, prove to election officials by use of government-issued photo identification that they are registered to vote. The statute the high court struck down in 2014 required people to use photo IDs to prove their identity before voting.
Proponents say identification laws strengthen election security and reduce fraud. Critics, like plaintiff Barry Haas of Little Rock, argue that those laws add unnecessary requirements that mostly keep minority, poor and elderly residents from voting.
“One purpose of Act 633 was and is to place barriers between the ballot box and otherwise qualified Arkansas voters and to prevent their ballots from being cast and/or counted,” his lawsuit states.
Haas, 70, is a former poll worker who spoke out against Act 633 before a Senate committee last year, warning that the measure could deprive 240,000 Arkansas residents of their right to vote. He’s lived in Arkansas since 1967 and has been registered to vote here since 1970.
Full Article: State’s ’17 voter-ID law fatally flawed, suit says.