The Court’s decision yesterday makes it clear that the voter ID law is invalid and does not apply to the upcoming election. All ballots, including absentee ballots, should be handled in the manner they were before the law was enacted.
Some clerks have asked about the requirement for first-time voters. After this decision, there are now no circumstances which absolutely require a photo ID in order to vote. Some first-time voters will need to provide some type of identification, but there are alternatives to providing a photo ID.
Supreme Court Rules Photo ID Not Required At the Polls
Secretary of State Mark Martin announces as of October 16, 2014, 4:39 p.m. Voters are no longer required to provide “proof of identity”(photo ID) in order to vote in person in the General Election. The law reverts back to the previous statute that existed prior to Act 595. Further, poll workers are still required by law to ask for identification; however, voters are not required to provide identification in order to vote.
Before the passage of the Voter ID law, state and federal law required first time voters to provide identification. Voters who register to vote by mail and fail to include valid identification will be required to provide identification at the polls.
For those First Time Voters, examples of identification required are: a valid photo id or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the challenged parts of Act 595, otherwise known as the Voter ID law. Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 595 on April 1, 2013, which required Arkansas residents to provide “proof of identity” when voting at the polls.
Please keep in mind, Arkansas has “fail safe voting” in place: voters can vote a Provisional Ballot at the polls if any problems or discrepancies should arise. County Board of Election Commissioners will notify voters of their appointment time to provide any additional information in order for their vote to count.
We will continue to review and further clarify the ruling as time permits.