The Republican gods are smiling: Voter ID law works to suppress votes | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Republican gods are smiling: Voter ID law works to suppress votes

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 9:54 AM

The Voter ID law is working just as Republicans intended. It is suppressing votes. The Forrest City Times Herald reports that the ID requirement in the new law caused 83 of 102 mail absentee ballots in St. Francis County to be disqualified.

I'd be willing to bet these were not young, wealthy, white voters who lost the franchise. A county official said he believed the law worked a hardship against the elderly.

Of course it does, man. That was the idea!

You'll remember, too, that the genius Republicans who wrote this law failed to provide a way for absentee voters to get down to the courthouse to correct failure to include an ID. Not that many of them likely are able to do so, otherwise they wouldn't have voted absentee in the first place.

You'll remember that Secretary of State Mark Martin has solemnly sworn he's done his duty to adequate publicize the terms of the new law so that no one would be disadvantaged by it.

Speaking of Voter ID: The Pulaski County Election Commission meets at noon today. It will discuss misapplication of the law by election officials, a misapplication that has occurred statewide.

Election clerks — some of them anyway — are operating under the assumption that the required photo ID must agree with voter rolls on address and birthdate. It does not. The ID is strictly to identify the bearer by appearance. Voters may be questioned about birthdate and address. Their answers must agree with the book. They are not required to provide proof of birthdate or address. Why did this happen? It's yet another obstacle to voting from an unconstitutional law that the results-oriented Arkansas Supreme Court allowed to stay in effect despite acknowledged flaws.

This was just a lightly contested primary. Think how many votes in the Delta will be thrown out in the general election. That sound you hear is Sen. Bryan King cackling and rubbing his hands with glee.

Here's more from MSNBC on the multiple problems found in implementation of the new law by the ACLU, which is pressing a lawsuit over the law. The lack of interest on the part of Republicans like Secretary of State Mark Martin and the state Board of Election Commissioners is astonishing. Wonder if the confusion and lack of clarity might move the Supreme Court of Arkansas.


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