Unopposed candidates won’t appear on the ballot for the first time, but school board candidates will join primary and judicial ones when voters head to the polls beginning Monday. And this time, voters need to bring a photo ID. Election officials do what they can to inform the electorate and keep the process simple. Washington County’s election commissioners sat around a table Wednesday trying to figure out which set of documents they would post at poll sites on Monday. Each set outlined different protocols for poll workers and voters depending on what happened with a lawsuit challenging the state’s voter ID law. The law was in limbo after a circuit judge deemed it unconstitutional April 26. The state wanted the Arkansas Supreme Court to halt the judge’s order blocking the law’s enforcement.
Election Commission Chairman Bill Ackerman told the group he had just gotten off the phone with the Secretary of State’s Office, and no one knew anything yet. As of 9 a.m., the policy was that poll workers had to ask voters for an ID, but voters weren’t required to produce one.
“Are we living in a schizophrenic world?” Renée Oelschlaeger said to her fellow commissioners.
By 4 p.m., the state Supreme Court decided enforcement of the law, originally enacted in August, could resume. Voters having to prove who they are is the latest in a string of changes to how, when and for whom Arkansans cast their ballots.