How would voter ID affect elections? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

How would voter ID affect elections?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Arkansas Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would require voters to show a photo ID before they can cast a ballot. 

The Senate approved the requirement with a 23-12 vote. Currently, Arkansas law requires poll workers to ask for identification but voters are not required to show it. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Bryan King, said the requirement would ensure the integrity of the state's elections. 

Kade Holliday is the Craighead County Clerk and says voters should not be worried about the outcome of this bill.

 “There are some thing you can substitute such as a government check,"Holliday said. "Things like that and we would also be able to issue you IDs here in the office for people to use, if they were not able to get a drivers license.”

Those who oppose the bill believe this new requirement could be some form of poll taxes and a way to disenfranchise voters. They also believe it may be unnecessary because there has never been any problems with voter impersonation at the polls. 

 “I don’t see it’s going to be  keeping people from voting,"Holliday said. "I understand the concerns and I think there are some kinks that should be worked out with the bill.”

The proposal would exempt voters living in nursing homes, or other long-term facilities. It would also exempt those who may have a religious objection to being photographed. Voters who don't show photo identification would be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, which would only be counted if an affidavit is signed by county election officials. 

The bill would require Arkansas to provide free photo IDs to those who may not have a driver's license, costing the state about $300,000. This law will go into effect until money is made available. 

“We’re still going to be able to make sure that you’re able to vote,"Holliday said. "If you don’t have a voter id or a photo id, we’ll make sure you’re set up here in the office if this does pass.”

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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