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.
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.
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.