Tuesday primaries marked the first state-wide election in Arkansas since the state’s new voter ID law went into effect earlier this year. And there were problems. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has received numerous complaints from voters who say poll workers “quizzed” them about the information on their IDs, one of the organization’s officials told TPM on Wednesday. “It’s not one or two specific locations, we’re hearing about it in various locations around the state,” Holly Dickson, legal director at ACLU of Arkansas, said in an interview. “There may have been a coordinated effort to have poll workers enforce the law this way — that remains to be seen, of course.”
The complaints received by the ACLU were similar in nature to those reported on by Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times, an alt weekly in Little Rock. He first noted reports of it on Tuesday while the election was still taking place. Then on Wednesday, Brantley posted several first-person accounts from voters on the newspaper’s website.
“I was quizzed about my name, address and birthdate while the election volunteer held my license where I couldn’t see it,” one reader wrote to Brantley. “Is that also part of the photo ID law? I mean, my drivers license does have my photo right there on the front… Are we testing for fake IDs now, too?”