As soon as the Governor signs it, a secure and uniform Voter ID law will be reality in Arkansas after the passage of HB 1112 today in the Senate by a vote of 25-9.
The bill by Rep. Mark Lowery (Maumelle) removes the loophole in current law where an absentee ballot voter could just sign a name to the ballot without verifying their identity.
Lowery has noted the comments of lawyers representing Rep. Ashley Hudson in the state Claims Commission hearing about her race with former Rep. Jim Sorvillo where they stated that had some voters provided a photo ID with their absentee ballot, those votes would have not been disqualified.
According to Amendment 51 of the Arkansas Constitution, accepted identification for voters include:
- An Arkansas driver's license
- A state photo identification card
- A state concealed handgun carry license
- A United States passport
- A state college or university student/employee ID
- Military identification
- A public assistance identification with a picture
- A free voter verification card provided under state law
Under current law, the free voter card is issued by the County Clerk provided a registered voter has none of the other accepted identifications. Voters must submit this form to the Clerk's Office.
Here is the rundown of how senators representing Pulaski County voted on HB 1112:
(Republicans in bold, Democrats in italics)