Arkansas election commissioners responding to state Supreme Court's rejection of voter ID law

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The Arkansas Board of Election staff is working to update forms and instructions for poll workers after the state Supreme Court found that the state's voter ID law is unconstitutional, according to Justin Clay, director of the Board of Election Commissioners.

"Essentially we're going to just revert back to ID procedures as they were prior to Jan. 1, 2014, when Act 595 went into effect," Clay told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1poj59w ). "We're going to send out replacement pages for our poll-worker guides to reflect what those procedures are."

The revised instructions were being sent to poll workers in each of the state's 75 counties, Clay said.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday found the law, Act 595, to be unconstitutional because it adds a new requirement in order to vote, the showing photo IDs, to the voter qualifications set out in the state constitution.

A.J. Kelly, deputy secretary for state elections, legal services and business and commercial services, said the new instructions were being sent Friday.

"In our meetings, what we are doing is prioritizing our distribution of instructions," Kelly said. "Instructions for counting of election ballots and postelection processing will be distributed in a timely manner, but not today, more likely Monday or Tuesday."

Voters must produce identification at the time they register to vote. Election staff members are allowed to require first-time voters who registered through the mail and did not provide an ID at that time to show some valid form of ID when they vote for the first time.

A few voters may still be asked to produce some form of identification, although it won't have to include the voter's picture, said A.J. Kelly, deputy secretary for state elections, legal services and business and commercial services.

For example, Kelly said that if a voter registers at a new address and the old address isn't removed from the registration list, the voter could be asked to provide an ID at the poll.

Those voters asked to produce identification but unable to do so will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, Kelly said.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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