Twice, in recent years, the Arkansas legislature has passed laws requiring individuals to present a valid photo ID to vote. Both times courts have ruled that the laws are unconstitutional. In November voters in Arkansas will be asked to vote on “Issue 2” a measure that would amend the state’s constitution to require individuals to present a valid photo ID to cast non provisional ballots in person or absentee.
The measure would also require the state to provide valid photographic identification free of charge to eligible voters. Individuals who attempt to vote without valid photo identification would be permitted to cast provisional ballots, which are ballots that need to be certified later to count.
Supporters of Issue 2 argue that requiring photo identification to vote prevents voter fraud and protects voter security. Opponents of Issue 2 argue that requiring photo identification to vote discourages voters and reduces turnout, especially among minorities and senior citizens.
As of August 1, 2018, 34 states enforced or were scheduled to begin enforcing voter identification requirements. Commonly accepted forms of ID include driver’s licenses, state-issued identification cards, and military identification cards.
My home state of Minnesota does not have a voter photo ID law but apparently many people in Minnesota believe that we do. I served as an election judge in Minnesota’s August 14th primary election and several people presented me with a photo ID when they first walked up to the sign-in table, without me asking.
Other ballot measures that Arkansans will be voting on in November are term limits for legislators and increasing the state’s minimum wage.