As expected, the Arkansas House of Representatives today approved a constitutional amendment that would require voter ID, 73-21. It was a party-line vote, with House Democrats united against House Joint Resolution 1016.
The measure, by Rep. Robin Lundstrum
(R-Elm Springs), was passed out of a committee yesterday.
HJR 1016 must now win passage in the Senate. If it does, it will appear before Arkansas voters on the 2018 ballot for an up or down vote.
Lundstrum's measure is one of at least two voter ID proposals in play this legislative session. A separate bill by Rep. Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) has passed the House and is now before the Senate. However, some Republicans remain concerned Lowery's bill will be insufficient to withstand a court challenge, since a previous voter ID measure was overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court. They feel a referred constitutional amendment is the only sure route to creating a permanent voter ID requirement in the state.