When manning the polls in Arkansas during an election, a poll worker is required to ask a voter for his or her identification. Legally, the voter is not required to present such documentation to the worker, but a bill sitting on the governor’s desk could change that. Senate Bill 2 — also known as the Voter ID Bill — has gone through the Arkansas Legislature and is awaiting action by the governor. If made into law, the bill would require voters “to provide proof of identity when voting and to provide for the issuance of a voter identification card.” Gov. Mike Beebe is likely to take action on the bill Monday, according to a staff member in the governor’s communication office.
Local state Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, supported the bill, saying he thinks “the integrity of the election process should be insured.”
Rapert said it did not seem unreasonable to ask to have voters prove who they were in order to combat possible voter fraud.
“In this day in time it is not too much to ask for someone to present an ID,” he said. “I actually question the motivation of any political party or individual who would create a situation where you could not prove the identity of the person voting.”
Former Faulkner County Election Commission Chairman Frank Shaw said there are many problems with the voter process in Arkansas, but he does not believe the bill would solve those problems.
“We have never – that I know of – had someone alleging to be ‘A’ when he was actually ‘B,’” Shaw said.