Arkansas Supreme Court Reinstates Voter ID Law

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CN) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will allow the state to enforce a voter identification law that was struck down as unconstitutional last week by a state judge.

By 6-1 vote the state supreme court reversed an injunction blocking enforcement of Act 633, which requires voters to present government-issued photo ID to vote. Early voting in the state’s May 22 primary election begins Monday.

The law was challenged by voter Barry Haas, who claimed it improperly added requirements to vote, in violation of the state constitution.

Pulaski County Judge Alice Gray found the measure unconstitutional on April 26, “as it imposes additional requirements to vote that are not found in the Arkansas Constitution.”

The state supreme court did not explain the reasoning behind its decision in the one-page order issued Wednesday.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said the ruling will provide clarity for voters and elections officials.

“I am very pleased that the Arkansas Supreme Court agreed with the arguments we made on behalf of the State Board of Election Commissioners that the requirement that a voter show photographic identification or sign a statement affirming his or her identity as a registered voter is not burdensome and helps ensure free and fair elections,” Rutledge said in a statement.

Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, signed the measure into law in March 2017.

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