Meet a victim of the Arkansas voter ID law | Arkansas Blog

Meet a victim of the Arkansas voter ID law


JOY DUNN: Lost her vote because of ID law. - ALICE OLLSTEIN/THINK PROGRESS
  • Alice Ollstein/Think Progress
  • JOY DUNN: Lost her vote because of ID law.

Think Progress introduces readers
to Joy Dunn, a 79-year-old black woman whose absentee primary vote didn't count because she didn't include an ID.

Did you know Arkansas's punitive voter ID law is the MOST punititive in the U.S. in not providing an ID exemption for people over 65 on absentee ballot? Did you know the Republican-backed law came with no serious plan of implementation and a virtually non-existent budget to make voters aware of the law? Secretary of State Mark Martin, a Republican, too, certainly made no complaint about a lack of funds. Nor did he make much of an effort to get the word out.

Real people lost their votes. People like Joy Dunn.

Dunn, who just turned 79, has several forms of valid ID, but says she was never notified that she had to include a copy of it with her absentee ballot. Arkansas is one of a tiny handful of state to require copies of ID from absentee voters, and the only state in the nation to make those over age 65 do. The only exceptions to this rule are for active duty service members and their spouses and residents of long-term care or residential care facilities.

This time, Joy is aware of the requirement, but it hasn’t been easy for her to meet it. Because of a foot injury that left her unable to drive, she had to ask a neighbor to take her drivers’ license to the library and bring her back a photocopy to include with her ballot. “I had to depend on somebody to go do it for me and that’s a hardship on me,” she said. “And most people don’t even have that kind of help! I think it’s unfair for a lot of us older people.”

People like Dunn are, of course, exactly the sort of people the Republicans DON'T want to vote. The law is being challenged in a case now before the Arkansas Supreme Court.

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