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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 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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wolfman says... March 25, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.

i swear the current legislature is filled with a bunch of loons. have they dealt with any kind of issue that makes sense this session. NO. Instead they wanna play god and tell a woman what to do with her body.....and let folks pack heat to church...and this. do something that really makes a difference and is a big priority.

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mhck52 says... March 25, 2013 at 10:08 p.m.

He wouldn't have vetoed it if it was a Democrat plan, or his. We need to override all his vetoes.

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Reason says... March 26, 2013 at 2:58 a.m.

Thank you Governor Beebe!

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TimberTopper says... March 26, 2013 at 5:22 a.m.

Inquire, maybe here is the problem with you. There is no Beebe quote in the last paragraph! Have you always had trouble with one or two of the three R's?

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Ernie1958 says... March 26, 2013 at 6:03 a.m.

For those who say that even now you must show ID or get a provisional ballot: You DO know that "acceptable ID" consists of a utility bill with your name and address on it, right? And yes, I know that taking someone else's mail is a Federal offense, so is voting fraudulently. So what is to stop someone from walking around stealing a utility bill from someone's mailbox, then showing up on Election Day and voting for them? Especially if you show up early in the day, the chances of them having already voted is slim. And the "early voting" information doesn't get to the poll workers until late in the day. Also, the huge dollar figure is horribly misleading. Less than 5% of the citizens of Arkansas don't have a picture ID. At $5 each, we're looking at about $10,000 max to get all those without an ID a valid picture ID. Democrats are just worried that if the dead and illegal can't vote, they'll never win another election!

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JakeTidmore says... March 26, 2013 at 6:29 a.m.

Data and research shows that voter ID is not needed. One commenter is correct in pointing out that Absentee ballots are easier to take advantage of. But, Republicans tend to count heavily in the Absentee ballots turned in. So, Republican-based Ledge won't touch that area, for sure.

The writer saying it will only cost $10,000 has completely ignored the cost of the new bureaucracy needed to implement this measure. Which chalks up to more government and more gov't interference in our lives. Wish Republicans would make up their minds about this "gov't interference" thing. It seems they love it when it's doing what they like.

And the real killer which Republicans continually hide from because it beats them every time is the fact that there is NOT a problem when you look at the evidence. Multiple researches show that it's only about 1 in 15 million to 1 in 50+ million votes that involves voter fraud.

It's the classic example of a snake oil salesman. Selling you something suspicious for imaginary problems and promising you miracles. Do you remember Andy Griffith Show and the episode about the wondere drink that Aunt Bee took to so eagerly and shared with all her lady friends?

Turned out it was about 80 proof. Very popular and also very mind numbing.

This voter ID legislation is pure grain alcohol and mind rotting. The results are becoming more evident every day.

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hawgsbreath says... March 26, 2013 at 7:09 a.m.

Time for Beebe to go and anyone else who has the same type of thinking. We show ID's for much less important activities, proving you are who you say you are when voting harms no one except those who are trying to steal an election.

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onlyGodmatters says... March 26, 2013 at 7:57 a.m.

Jeffieboy that's a problem with the "Booger" county election officials, not voter identification!

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onlyGodmatters says... March 26, 2013 at 8 a.m.

Thanks acuraman!!!!!

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