Arkansas Voter ID Law Struck Down

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An Arkansas law requiring voters to present government-approved forms of ID was struck down by a state circuit court judge today for being unconstitutional.

Last April, the Arkansas legislature overrode its own governor's veto to pass the law, which still allowed voters without ID to cast a provisional vote that would only count if they were later able to provide ID to an official or demonstrate that they were too poor to obtain one. No provisions were included in the law to provide transportation for the people who were too poor to afford an ID. While student IDs from out of state schools were not considered acceptable forms of ID, concealed handgun carry licenses were. 

In Judge Timothy Fox found that the entire law violated the Arkansas constitution -- even though he was only asked to rule on how to count votes from absentee ballots without ID. State Democrats are pleased with the decision; the Republican senator who sponsored the law in the first place told the AP that he was "shocked" by it.

The state attorney general plans to appeal the ruling.

While a 2008 Supreme Court decision upheld Indiana's voter ID law, some state courts have ruled like Judge Fox, including Pennsylvania earlier this year and Wisconsin in 2012.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.