About the voter ID law: a second opinion from Justice Corbin | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

About the voter ID law: a second opinion from Justice Corbin

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Associate Justice Donald Corbin's daughter Jennifer made a quickie video when Justice Corbin voted today at the Little Rock Fire Station in the Heights. As you'll see, he objected when a poll worker asked to see an ID. The judge said it was his constitutional right not to do so. He should know. He wrote the opinion striking down the law as unconstitutional.

Now, it's true that new rules sent out to election officials say that poll workers, following long-standing law, may ask for an ID. But they may not insist on production and they may not force a voter to take a provisional ballot for refusing to produce one.

But Jennifer Corbin makes an interesting point — relevant to  Secretary of State Mark Martin's imposition of a voter ID rule on voters who've moved from county to county, despite the absence of such a requirement in the law.

The opinion noted that the Arkansas Constitution lists these requirements to vote: 1) U.S. citizenship; 2) Arkansas residency; 3) 18 years old, and lawfully registered. The opinion continues: "Given this 'fundamental purpose' we adhere to the framers' intent conferred in article 3, section 1, of the Arkansas Constitution to require the foregoing four qualifications of voters in an Arkansas election and nothing more [emphasis added]. To hold otherwise would disenfranchise Arkansas voters and would negate "the object sought to be accomplished" by the framers of the Arkansas Constitution." A part of the Constitution does, however, provide from such procedures to follow on changes in registration.

Mark Martin's office continues to stand mute on its imposition of a rule on voters who've moved. Reports also continue to come in to me and the ACLU of voters being hassled by poll workers when they exercise their rights as Corbin did. 

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