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Beebe vetoes Senate-proposed voter ID bill

By David Harten

This article was published March 25, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.

beebe-vetoed-senate-bill-2-on-monday-a-bill-that-wouldve-required-voters-to-show-identification-at-polling-stations-in-this-march-10-2013-file-photo-gov-mike-beebe-is-interviewed-in-a-hallway-at-the-state-capitol-in-little-rock-after-vetoing-legislation-that-would-have-banned-abortions-12-weeks-into-a-pregnancy

Beebe vetoed Senate Bill 2 on Monday, a bill that would've required voters to show identification at polling stations. In this March 10, 2013 file photo, Gov. Mike Beebe is interviewed in a hallway at the state Capitol in Little Rock, after vetoing legislation that would have banned abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Governor Mike Beebe vetoed Senate Bill 2 on Monday afternoon, according to a release from his office.

The bill, which proposed a requirement that Arkansans show identification when voting in any election.

In the release, Beebe said the bill is "an expensive solution in search of a problem", with the Bureau of Legislative Research estimating the cost of implementing the bill at $300,000 in tax money.

The statement also added that the Attorney General's Office could not determine the legal future of the bill, should it become law.

"At a time when some argue for the reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy and for reduced government spending," Beebe said. "I find it ironic to be presented with a bill that increases government bureaucracy and increases government expenditures, all to address a need that has not been demonstrated.  I cannot approve such an unnecessary measure that would negatively impact one of our most precious rights as citizens."

Shortly after Beebe's office released news of the veto, Doyle Webb, chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, released a statement in response to the veto.

“By vetoing voter ID legislation, Governor Beebe has once again overruled the wishes of Arkansas voters, disregarded the will of bipartisan majorities who passed the bill in the legislature, and even ignored the opinion his own Attorney General released just this afternoon." Webb said. "In order to ensure the fairness and integrity of Arkansas elections, we look forward to overriding this veto in the days to come.”

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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outinthesticks says... March 25, 2013 at 4:26 p.m.

Yes Lawyer, lie, cheat, steal, anything for the Party! No wonder I equate the Democratic Party with the Communist Party. Two peas in a pod! And before you throw stones, let me say that the GOP in most cases is another pea in the same pod, just on the other end of the pod. Poor Mike. Really such a nice guy, too bad he has to walk that party line.

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KEVINBOOTHMEDYAHOOCOM_magnolia says... March 25, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.

I was issued a voter registration card when I registered.. why cant that be accepted? They only let you vote once in the election with it. They check your name off. Why do you need to show a drivers license? I mean a photo id is OK with me...but seems like citizens shouldn't be charged for the ID to vote (unless you are trying to keep the poor from voting) and it will cost the government more money if they/we pay for the ID. I thought the republicans were for saving money?

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rainbowharold55 says... March 25, 2013 at 4:39 p.m.

Beebe strikes a blow against Jim Crow, the Republican Poll Tax, and Voter Suppression. Good for him!

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RonalFos says... March 25, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.

A troublesome, costly solution to a non-existent problem. Thanks governor for at least trying to save Arkansans from Republican "Tax".

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onlyGodmatters says... March 25, 2013 at 4:42 p.m.

LevyRat, ID's are not free. If you're going to require all Arkansas citizens to have an ID, then you're going to have to furnish the ID using taxpayer dollars (or deprive indigents of their right to vote). Maybe your Republican friends shouldn't be sending voter registration cards of decedents to their cronies, and we wouldn't have a problem. I seem to recall that it's usually the main accuser who's unfaithful. In this case, I guess the accuser is guilty of illegal voting or aiding and abetting illegal voting????

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onlyGodmatters says... March 25, 2013 at 4:51 p.m.

I'm trying to figure out why Governor Beebe is spending his valuable time studying these bills if his vetoes are going to be overridden by majority vote??? I think the Governor should have the final say, or it should have to go before the Arkansas Supreme court, not back to the same group who proposed it in the first place!

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Fdworfe says... March 25, 2013 at 4:51 p.m.

It is indeed remarkable how hyper the cost sensitive Ultra-Righties can be with any expenditure not to their liking, but how insensitive they can be to expenditures that promote their cause. Put another way, right-wingers are becoming surprisingly creative in finding ways to win elecions without "really winning elections". Maybe they should just stick to their strategy of honing and re-packaging their message! Is there any doubt whatsoever in anyone's mind what their real message is? And therein lies the problem for the Gop.

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outinthesticks says... March 25, 2013 at 4:52 p.m.

Beebe says there is no problem--- "all to address a need that has not been demonstrated", but all you Democrats seem to think there is or will be "voter suppression". Who is not or will not be getting to vote? Which way is it? You can't have it both ways....oh yeah, yes you can, you're Democrats. Which ever way the wind blows.

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RamblinRazorWreck says... March 25, 2013 at 5:02 p.m.

No problems, huh? Someone tell that to State Representative Hudson Hallum, his cronies, and the folks in Marion whose votes were ripped off.

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