Voters will need photo ID before casting ballots Primary Tuesday
By Matt Mershon
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - It's been a very confusing past couple of weeks when it comes to rulings on Arkansas's new voter ID law. As of primary day, the most recent Supreme Court ruling will have all voters presenting a photo ID when they go to cast their ballot on Tuesday. Tuesday will be the first major test of the Act 595, the state's voter ID law, when poll workers ask for that identification when voters come to the poll. Even when it comes to early voting in Pulaski County, poll workers have been instructed to ask for ID. "The proof of identity provision under Act 595 requires that it be a photo ID," said Bryan Poe, director of elections for Pulaski County. "So it must have your name and photograph in order for it to be valid." Accepted forms of photo ID include an Arkansas issued state ID or driver's license, a passport, a state or federal employee's badge, a concealed carry permit, military ID or a university or college issued ID from Arkansas institution. University ID's also include university or college employee ID's. You can still obtain that photo ID before the polls close on Tuesday to cast a ballot, either at your local revenue office or at the office of your local county clerk. "They can come in and get an ID as early as 7:00 AM and vote that day with that ID," said Walter Anger, assistant commissioner of revenue operations and administration for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. A photo ID from the DFA will cost money; the county clerk issued ID will cost nothing. The DFA said they haven't seen a noticeable increase in those people looking for photo ID's for Tuesday's primary. Poe says he thinks the true test of the state's voter ID law will come in November, if the law isn't already thrown out in another court ruling by then. "Where I would expect to see it is in the general election where you have those folks who only come out and vote every two to four years," said Poe, referencing potential issues with the voter ID law. Poe said any voter can still cast a provisional ballot on Tuesday without photo ID. The provisional ballot won't be counted unless you can provide one of the recognized photo ID's within a week of casting a ballot. The only exception to the voter ID law is in the realm of those living "long-term care facilities" (ie. nursing home). If a voter can provide proof that they live at said facility on facility letterhead - that will be good enough and suffice despite not having a photo ID.
KATV ABC 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas covers news, sports, weather and the local community in the city and the surrounding area, including Hot Springs, Conway, Pine Bluff, Jacksonville, Sherwood, Stuttgart, Benton, Bauxite, East End, Scott, Pinnacle, Maumelle, Gibson, Landmark and Hensley.