McDaniel will let secretary of state argue for state in voter ID case | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

McDaniel will let secretary of state argue for state in voter ID case

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

click to enlarge REAL DAMAGE: The ACLU is posting stories such as this on the harmful impact of the voter ID law as it prepares to argue to void it.
  • REAL DAMAGE: The ACLU is posting stories such as this on the harmful impact of the voter ID law as it prepares to argue to void it.

Attorney General Dustin McDanie
l announced today that he would "yield" his time to the secretary of state's office in oral arguments next week on the challenger to the 2013 voter ID law.

Circuit Judge Tim Fox has ruled that the law added a new restriction on voting, unconstitutional under clear language of the Arkansas Constitution. The suit was brought by the ACLU and the Arkansas Public Law Center and argues that it also places an undue burden on some people. The laws have been passed nationally by Republican legislators and contested — frequently with court success — by Democrats who've argued that they harm poor, minority and college voters in application.

Arkansas law already allowed that a photo ID be requested and voters may be questioned on address and their signatures challenged. The new law was used in the primary this year and it resulted in the disqualification of 1,000 absentee voters who were believed to be legitimate voters who merely failed to include an ID with ballots.

Secretary of State Mark Martin, a Republican, and the state Board of Election Commissioners are appealing Fox's ruling. McDaniel represents the state Board of Election Commissioners. McDaniel, who is a Democrat, said in a release:

“I have made a commitment to uphold my constitutional obligation to defend the law, and I will continue to do so as counsel to the Board,” McDaniel said. “However, Secretary Martin’s attorneys have asked to argue the appeal, and I have no objection to them taking the appellant’s argument time.” 

McDaniel's release said the office had consulted with Republican Sen. Bryan King, sponsor of the law, and he approved. The release quoted King:

“I am confident that attorneys for the Secretary of State’s Office will represent the state appellants at the Supreme Court, and I appreciate the cooperation of the attorneys involved in this matter as we work together to ensure the law’s constitutionality is upheld,” King said.

AJ Kelly and Martha Adcock, members of the secretary of state's staff, are attorneys for the office.

TAKE NOTE: The ACLU of Arkansas is going to be presenting real stories of real people harmed by the voter ID law on its Facebook page in days ahead. Check out the link.

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