Friday, March 8, 2013

Voter ID may be stalled

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Arkansas legislators need to read Ernie Dumas closer. Two weeks ago, in a column for the Times, he explained that Sen. Bryan King's voter ID bill was unconstitutional.

SB 2 violates the Arkansas Constitution. Amendment 51, which outlawed the poll tax and established a system of permanent voter registration, prevents the legislature or a local government from adding new requirements for voting beyond the lengthy procedures in the amendment.

Michael Cook at Talk Business reports that House Speaker Davy Carter and a group of legislators met recently to discuss the constitutional issue.

He also reports that Rep. Jim Nickels will introduce a motion next week to send the bill back to the Senate since it passed that chamber without the supermajority needed to amend the constitution. If that happens, I can't imagine why one of the 12 Democrats who voted against it initially would change their vote. The Senate passed it 23-12, one vote short of a supermajority. But even if that somehow happened, it's hard to envision a scenario where enough Democrats would vote for it in the House for a supermajority.

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