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State GOP launches voter-ID-law education push

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published April 4, 2013 at 9:08 a.m. Updated April 4, 2013 at 9:36 a.m.

republican-party-of-arkansas-chairman-doyle-webb-speaks-at-a-news-conference-thursday-april-4-2013-beside-state-sen-bryan-king-r-green-forest-and-secretary-of-state-mark-martin

Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb speaks at a news conference Thursday, April 4, 2013, beside state Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, and Secretary of State Mark Martin.

The Republican Party of Arkansas is launching an effort to educate Arkansans about a new law that will require voters to show identification at the polls.

Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed legislation passed this session that required a photo identification be shown when voting, but lawmakers overrode the veto last week.

The Republican Party said at a news conference that Operation Vote Arkansas would include efforts to educate voters on the new requirements, provide transportation for those needing help obtaining identification and revamp the party's website with additional voting information.

Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb said he would also travel the state to spread word of the new law and raise awareness.

Speaking beside the sponsor of Senate Bill 2, state Sen. Jeremy King, and Secretary of State Mark Martin, Webb reiterated the party's support for the law, noting identification is necessary to board a plane, open a post office box or enter a nightclub.

"It is not a radical idea to apply this to voting," he said. "... What is radical is to insist that are elections are perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect election."

The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014, if there is an estimated $300,000 in funding to pay for free IDs for Arkansans who don't have them. Martin said he is "pretty sure" the funding will be available then.

Webb said the education initiative is not premature despite the question on funding and the possibility the law will be challenged in court.

"Education is never premature," he said. "It's important so the voting public is aware that we're willing to assist. ... It's never to early to educate the public."

Comments on: State GOP launches voter-ID-law education push

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rainbowharold55 says... April 4, 2013 at 11:28 a.m.

No funding legislation= no free IDs= Poll tax.

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jkc78 says... April 4, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.

it will be funded

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jkc78 says... April 4, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.

it will be funded

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rainbowharold55 says... April 4, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.

On Mark Martin's word?

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Nate says... April 4, 2013 at 11:53 a.m.

These retarded morons will find a way to fund this legislation even if requires reductions in school funding further sealing their fate with the citizens who thought giving them a chance at governing couldn't and wouldn't be this bad again proving something I've always heard, "lay down with dogs, expect to get up with fleas"! JOBS YOU IDIOTS!

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MZach says... April 4, 2013 at 11:56 a.m.

How much will this education campaign cost taxpayers? This crop of Arkansas Republicans is neither fiscally conservative nor small government. What a sad joke.

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lazybar says... April 4, 2013 at 12:36 p.m.

what percent of voters do not already have some form of id?

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RBBrittain says... April 4, 2013 at 1:03 p.m.

If the free IDs aren't funded, voter ID won't happen.

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GAITOR says... April 4, 2013 at 1:09 p.m.

I can't wait to vote!!!

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tomkelly518_comcast.net says... April 4, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.

Our legislature spending the whole legislative session on abortion (which after a costly legal fight will eventually be overturned), voter registration ids (not needed we have good anti-fraud laws), and gun laws.. all of which are drivel when compared to getting the infrastructure, education, and job situations of the state worked out.

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