by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Democratic Party says a Republican bill to require partisan voter registration to participate in preferential primaries is just another Republican effort to discourage voting.
I'll buy that, but not the idea that Republicans have a plot to enlist people to register Democratic and mess with the opposition's primary. If that was the goal, the current system works fine. See D.C. Morrison.
On the heels of Republican lawmaker Bryan King’s attempt to make it more difficult for Arkansans to vote, Republican lawmakers filled legislation calling for a closed primary system in Arkansas that would prevent Independents from voting in primary elections.
“Again, we should be encouraging Arkansans to vote, not making it more difficult,” Candace Martin, communications director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas said. “Republicans are saying that Independents shouldn’t have a say in the primary elections process; that’s just wrong.”
SB746 was filed by Senator Michael Lamoureux (R) of Russellville on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 and referred to the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.
“This bill is one of several from the Republicans that speaks to a larger issue of creating unfairness in the election process for Arkansans,” Martin said. “Republicans are consistently trying to limit the ability to vote in the state of Arkansas which hurts our state and diminishes the voice of the people.”
Yesterday, the DPA pointed to the unfairness of HB 1797 or the Voter ID law filed by Representative Bryan King (R) of Green Forest that would unnecessarily require Arkansans to provide photo identification when voting. The legislation sets up obstacles for voters, particularly seniors, students and lower-income Arkansans.