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Vote suppression

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Vote suppression

We now have proof positive from a chaotic and wildly inconsistent enforcement of the Voter ID law last week that rampant confusion exists on how the law is to be administered. Voters all over Arkansas reported election officials who believed photo IDs were to be used to check birth dates and addresses. They are not. There were also numerous reports of challenged voters being denied their absolute right to cast a provisional ballot, countable only when proper proof is presented. Reported disqualifications of absentee ballots have ranged from 10 percent Pulaski County to 80 percent in St. Francis County to 175 of 200 absentees in Mississippi County, according to the ACLU's Holly Dickson.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Tim Fox rightly issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the state Voter ID law. The written order continues to stay that injunction, but plaintiffs were expected to ask him to put it into effect, as his order encouraged. The secretary of state's office moved before the day was out to appeal to the state Supreme Court and said it had made arrangements to get the record to the court. In other words: Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin will do all he can to keep the vote suppression statute in place.

Tweet of the week

"You won't see me arguing against those who choose to be homosexual — that's their personal choice. Just quit forcing approval."

—Sen. Jason Rapert, who has single-handedly proved that no one is forcing him to approve of anything, exercising his First Amendment right to be as bigoted as he pleases on a daily basis.

Magic numbers

40: Number of minutes played by Riverfest headliner CeeLo Green, according to a spokesperson for the Riverfest board, which is withholding full payment of its contract.

75-90: Number of minutes CeeLo was supposed to play; he was preceded by underwhelming performances by something called the CeeLo Experience and a DJ. Many in attendance grumbled that these non-CeeLo performers were not, in fact, CeeLo.

79: Number of complaints, at press time, from commenters on the Times' Facebook page about the CeeLo show. Nobody flat out said "F*** You," but commenter Nicholas Williams had the best reference to that CeeLo hit: "I guess the change in his pocket wasn't enough."

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