Arkansas Senate Overrides Governor's Voter ID Veto

Mar 27, 2013

Sen. Bryan King (R-Green Forest) speaking to reporters after his bill to require voters to show photo ID before voting passed a vote to override the Governor's veto Wednesday.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The Arkansas Senate voted 21-12 Wednesday to override the Governor's veto of a bill that would require voters in the state to present valid photo identification before casting a ballot.

This is the third veto the Senate has overridden this legislative session. The other two were on abortion restrictions.

The Senate delivered a letter announcing the override to the House of Representatives which also has to vote to override the veto.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, says requiring voters to show photo ID before voting instills confidence in the voting process and has been shown to increase voter turnout. Opponents of the bill have compared it to a poll tax and said it will disenfranchise poor, older and minority voters.

"It continues to amaze me that the Governor and them continue the attitude that voter fraud is not happening here in Arkansas, I mean, that's where we got in the problem of why we had the Hudson Hallum [voter fraud incident]," King told reporters after the vote. "They just don't want to recognize it and they don't want to do anything about it and that's what this bill does."

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a statement earlier this week in response to questions regarding the bill's constitutionality. He didn't indicate definitively whether he thought the bill could withstand judicial scrutiny.