The Senate today approved the House bill to impose a photo ID requirement to vote
. The vote was 25-8 and it goes back to the House for concurrence with an amendment.
The bill has some minor changes from a similar bill struck down by the Arkansas Supreme Court. Sponsors believe some changes in the bill, along with new membership on the Arkansas Supreme Court, may prevent this bill from being successfully challenged.
It complements a constitutional amendment on voter ID that won't take effect unless voters approve in November 2018. If not successfully challenged, this bill could take in time to be imposed in the 2018 election. The ID requirement has had a proven impact on getting votes disqualified by people who don't have IDs and can't readily obtain them. No legislator in the course of the debate has produced a single instance of voter impersonation in Arkansas, but advocates say it will enhance confidence in the voting process. Democrats were the primary opponents. Republicans have had a national agenda to impose ID restrictions and other measures to reduce voter turnout because the measures tend to communities — poor and minority — with Democratic voting tendencies.
Here's the bill.