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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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Comments on: Beebe vetoes Senate-proposed voter ID bill

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Packman says... March 25, 2013 at 5:06 p.m.

No surprise here. Had Beebe been up for re-election he would have signed the bill with trumpets blaring. The fundamental question is this: Is it asking too much for someone to show an ID to vote? If you're a liberal who does not believe in individual responsibility and accountability with Big Government as a societal nanny, you would answer "yes". If you're a conservative who understands in our democracy individual liberty is predicated on personal responsibility and accountability, you would answer "no". Entitlement addicts and their sympathizers say "yes". Hard working Americans and their sympathizers say "no". This is illustrative of a fundamental difference between modern-day liberal and conservative beliefs.

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jskwill says... March 25, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.

Thank you, Governor, for vetoing yet another bill from this 'runaway' Republican legislature that makes no fiscal or logical sense. The Republican party says it wants to limit the role of big government in our lives, yet here in Arkansas they are passing a record number of bills that do exactly that - in this case a bill that my tax dollars will pay for to solve a problem we do not have. Of course we all know what this bill is really meant to do, and that is limit the access of minority, poor, and old voters to the polls - because these voters tend to vote Democratic more than Republican. I can't wait until the next election to vote these Yahoos out of office. By the way, I am a strong Christian and fiscal conservative who used vote Republican ten years ago, but now am an independent who stays well away from the extremist positions in both parties. The Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh were the final straws that drove me away from a Republican affiliation. I won't be back.

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TDA says... March 25, 2013 at 5:38 p.m.

Thank you, Governor Beebe, someone in government needs to keep their head our of the sand.

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jeffieboy says... March 25, 2013 at 5:43 p.m.

I agreed with Beebe on the abortion thing but not this one. In "Booger" County they used to pass out half pints of Evan Williams for every time someone voted and many did several times. Everybody from around there knows that. That there is no voter fraud is a myth. It is alive and well and happens a lot more than most suspect.

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ARK1MXG says... March 25, 2013 at 6:21 p.m.

God must have loved stupid people because he sure made a lot of them!

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wonbigholiday says... March 25, 2013 at 6:57 p.m.

Well said Gov. Beebe!

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NoUserName says... March 25, 2013 at 7:41 p.m.

Hudson Hallum bought absentee votes. Something that ID would not have prevented. How stupid does one have to be to continue to use THAT as an example of the necessity of voter ID?

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acuraman says... March 25, 2013 at 7:59 p.m.

Thank you Governor Beebee for doing what you think is best for Arkansas! I don't understand why this New Republican led legislature wants to make these big changes since they have slightly taken over.. I think the abortion and Voter ID issues both should have been put on the ballot for all of us to decide at election time. I personally don't need, or like a bunch of old, mainly white men trying to change every law we have around to meet what they think is a good standard of living.. Arkansans vote, so let us change these issues if we feel it is necessary.. & yes I am a middle aged white guy so I guess it's ok that I said that..

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WTR44 says... March 25, 2013 at 8:04 p.m.

Beebe knows this is his last term in office and is now showing his true Democratic roots!

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KnuckleBall says... March 25, 2013 at 8:13 p.m.

IDs made at the DFA Offices cost money, they are not free... someone has to pay for them. These idots run on wanting smaller goverment but they sure have not done that this session with all the laws they have passed. In fact they have increased government.
The next step to is reduce taxes on their rich friends and the middle class will have to pay more. There is no common sense but sure lots of hot air.

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