Arkansas governor signs voter ID bill into law

Arkansas has enacted a new, improved voter ID law:

Under the new law, a voter who does not show photo ID at his or her polling place may cast a provisional ballot. The voter will be given the option of signing a sworn statement that the voter is who he or she claims to be, and if that option is chosen the county clerk will compare the signature to the signature on the voter registration card issued to that person to see if they match and the ballot should be counted.

 

Alternatively, a voter casting a provisional ballot may choose to show photo ID to the county clerk or county election board before noon on the Monday after the election to have the ballot counted.

 

The law also requires that a copy of a voter’s photo ID be submitted with an absentee ballot. It allows an absentee voter to sign a statement that could be used to verify the person’s identity if no photo ID is submitted.

 

The Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office would be required to provide for the issuance of voter identification cards with photos to registered voters who request them from their county clerk. The cards would be issued free of charge.

This is a model other states should follow: affidavit voters given provisional ballots that are verified before being counted, an ID requirement for mail ballots, and free photo IDs for voters who need them.

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