Arkansas Elections

Two courts are considering challenges to Arkansas' new voter ID law as early voting approaches for the state's May 20 primary.

Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox is scheduled to hold a hearing Friday afternoon on whether to issue a preliminary injunction against the new law that requires voters to show photo identification before they cast a ballot. Fox struck down the law in a separate case last week, but the state Supreme Court stayed that ruling while it considers an appeal of the decision.

election voter ID vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' highest court has temporarily stayed a judge's ruling striking down the state's voter ID law and given both sides until Friday to make their case about whether the restriction should remain in place.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the state's request to stay Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox's decision voiding the new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Fox ruled the restriction violated Arkansas' constitution. Fox issued the ruling in a case that had focused on absentee ballot rules.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Pulaski County Election Commission and a group of four voters are asking Arkansas' highest court to prevent the state from enforcing a voter ID law in an upcoming election after it was struck down by a judge.

The commission on Tuesday asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to deny the state's request to stay Judge Tim Fox's ruling, which voided the new law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.

election voter ID vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' attorney general has filed a notice to challenge a state judge's ruling that found Arkansas' new voter ID law unconstitutional.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed notice Friday that his office would appeal Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox's ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court. A day earlier, Fox ruled the state's voter ID law was "void and unenforceable."

A spokesman for the attorney general says the state will ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to stay Fox's ruling.

The three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for a central Arkansas congressional seat are running on vows to cut taxes and regulations in Washington, but split sharply on who would be the strongest candidate in this fall's election.

State Rep. Ann Clemmer, banking executive French Hill and retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds are running for the GOP nomination in the May 20 primary for the 2nd Congressional District. Whoever wins the nomination will face former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays, the only Democrat running, and Libertarian nominee Debbie Standiford.

Another Arkansas judge has been ruled eligible for office after his candidacy was challenged because of a temporary license suspension. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Tuesday that Circuit Judge H.G. Foster is eligible for the ballot. Foster's candidacy had been challenged because his license was temporarily suspended because of late payment of annual dues. State law says a person must be a licensed attorney for six years to be eligible for a judgeship.

A hearing is set in a lawsuit over how absentee ballots are handled under Arkansas' new voter ID law, five weeks ahead of the state's primary election.

The Arkansas Republican Party has asked a Pulaski County judge to allow it to help defend the state Board of Election Commissioners for adopting a rule that gives absentee voters additional time to show proof of ID. The Pulaski County Election Commission claimed in a lawsuit last month that the state panel overstepped its bounds with the new rule.

A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Monday in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

A Pulaski County judge says a court rule that suspends Arkansas lawyers who don't pay their annual dues on time is unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Wednesday in a case involving Angela Byrd, who is seeking a judgeship in the 20th Judicial District.

A resident challenged Byrd's eligibility for the ballot, citing a state law that requires judges to be licensed attorneys for six years before taking office. Byrd's license was suspended for a day after she paid her dues 36 hours late.

election voter ID vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas's Board of Election Commissioners are set to consider whether they will permanently adopt the emergency rules for absentee ballots that they approved last month.

Board Director Justin Clay says the seven-member body will vote on approving the rules as permanent provisions in their scheduled Wednesday meeting.

The rules passed by the board in late February allow a brief grace period for absentee voters to submit proof of identification if they didn't attach them their ballot when voting.

Two potential issues that may be on the November ballot offer contrasting attitudes from Arkansas voters.

The latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll of more than 1,000 likely voters shows that an overwhelming majority of Arkansans are in favor of raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour, while voters are evenly split on a possible medical marijuana proposal. Both citizen-led initiatives are collecting signatures before a July deadline to qualify for the November ballot.

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