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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.

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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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Firefighter says... March 26, 2013 at 12:37 p.m.

My daddy, who died in 1993, voted Republican his whole life. He now votes Democrat. No wonder Bee Brain vetoed the bill. It would cost his party a whole lot of votes.

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NoUserName says... March 26, 2013 at 1:55 p.m.

That's funny. My research shows that Lance Armstrong DID fail a test. And as for the 20% lottery money goes to the students, well, yeah, who would buy a lottery ticket if you didn't win anything? And to that last poster, I wouldn't admit to voter fraud on a website where they can surely find out who you are...but then again, Arkansas is as the bottom of many lists for a reason.

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FlatulentBurst says... March 26, 2013 at 3:55 p.m.

I carry my driver's license with my voter id card everytime I go to vote. I usually get asked for my DL, then they look it up in their database and ask me if I'm still living at the same address from the last time I voted. So tell me again why we need to pass a bill that requires you to do something that is already being done?

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Packman says... March 26, 2013 at 4:28 p.m.

Hey Jake - To decipher from your rambling post, are you defining "needed" by saying too few instances of voter fraud were recorded to justify "need"? If so, your statement is a lie (and note I did not call you a liar but the STATEMENT a lie - you may very well be a liar. I don't know you well enough to say). BTtP - Need in this case is based on prevention and to insure integrity in the system not to mention the need to be consistent with a fundamental principle of our democracy that with rights come responsibilities. Your precious data has nothing to do with need. Is it asking too much for someone to show a voter ID to vote? In a country founded on freedom tempered by personal responsibility, the answer can only be "no".

Hey inquire - You must have had some pretty dumb classmates..........:)

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T6 says... March 26, 2013 at 6:35 p.m.

FlatulentBurst says...I carry my driver's license with my voter id card everytime I go to vote. I usually get asked for my DL, then they look it up in their database and ask me if I'm still living at the same address from the last time I voted. So tell me again why we need to pass a bill that requires you to do something that is already being done?
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BECAUSE if I'm not mistake Arkansas law does not require you to show your DL. They can ask for it but you don't have to show. Got it?

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cdawg says... March 27, 2013 at 3:20 a.m.

As a former election overseer you are correct T6. Election workers can require a photo ID but a voter is not required to provide one.
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Beebe need not veto this bill. SCOTUS will do it for us. It violates Sec 5 of Civil Rights Act. Dustin McDaniel is playing games with it for reasons unknown.
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Please some of you learn to distinguish between ELECTION fraud and voter fraud. Jake is correct. More potential for fraud in absentee voting. All of you claiming you must show ID well, you do. When you register to vote.
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Someone explain to us how 75 Ark Counties will be able to set up machines and produce IDs for the sum of $300,000? .. I wonder how many people are willing to risk a jail sentence and a $5000 fine to vote more than once or to vote in another's place? No immigrant I've ever known would take that risk for a half pint of whiskey or a bag of totillias.

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lazybar says... March 27, 2013 at 8:57 a.m.

you all act like no one in arkansas has some form of id and the tax payers will pickup the bill for providing everyone with a id.everyone should carry some form of id and those on welfare using a ebt card should have to show id anyways.

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RonalFos says... March 27, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.

It's strange that Republicans are voting for bigger government, more government spending and more voter headaches to solve a non-problem. Don't you have better things to do?

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JakeTidmore says... March 27, 2013 at 12:47 p.m.

Hmmm....strange case you present Packman. You say you are trying to prevent a problem yet the data shows there has been no problem with voter fraud. And, like Bill Clinton, you start getting metaphysical about the word "need."

To us common layman types, "need" applies when there is a clear cut problem requiring a solution. Simply speculating doesn't create a "need." And that is what you and thousands of other voter ID proponents are doing.

You create a problem from your imagination (such is the case since there is no real evidence that such a problem exists in the real world of the American electorate). I do not lie and if you insult me again, I will take it very personally. Do not twist the truth to make someone a liar. It serves to demean you and not me.

My data is rock solid, unlike the fantasy world you create with your speculation. And thus the reason why I often refer to you and others as Chicken Littles. When someone points out that the sky is not falling, you just ignore us and continue to force helmets upon everyone. Your arguments are basically asking us what have we got against wearing helmets and that if we don't endorse them then we must want people to get hurt by the pieces of sky that will soon fall.

Mama didn't raise a fool. Folks who knock on your door trying to foist solutions upon us when they have no proof that there is a real problem other than in their imaginations, those folks definitely don't need to be let into your homes.

So, before calling me a liar or saying that my sources are lying, get to work and dig up some real data that proves your point. I'm betting you can't, because if you could, you would have done so by now. Instead, you have obfuscated, slandered, and done your worst to ignore the actual facts over the past decades about voter fraud.

This law is an insult to our voting history and to intelligent voters. It is anathema to the ideals of freedom and bravery. But it is great for those imginative little chickens who constantly peck away at our rights. They won't be happy until everyone is wearing helmets and huddling in fear from the imagined ravages of a falling sky soon to decimate their world.

The question is simple: has there been a voter fraud problem to support the need for this law? The answer is: No. The most conservative estimate is 1 case per 15 million votes. (I have cited these cases previously and if you do enough research you will find similar numbers or higher, depending on your source).

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JakeTidmore says... March 27, 2013 at 12:47 p.m.

Part II

The more pressing problem regarding voting is voter disenfranchisement. There we are talking millions of people not being allowed to vote, having there names erroneously removed from voter rolls, etc.

We are a country that's about inclusion, not exclusion. That is why I question the patriotism and aims of folks who promote laws that cause exclusion for American voters. The real question is not "Why are you afraid of voter ID?"; the real question is "Why are you afraid of American voters?"

It all depends on whether you believe in imaginary problems or real data which shows there is currently no such problem.

Now ask yourself this: If it is less hassle to fake an absentee ballot which requires no voter ID, why did this not get addressed? Could it be because more Republicans use absentee ballots?!

I'm certain you can imagine the problem - just as I am certain that you haven't proven that there is a real problem based on real evidence from the real world. Meanwhile, I'm going to shut the door like my Mama taught. The clear sunlight glinting off your shiny helmets is giving me pause about the dangers of your falling sky.

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