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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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JakeTidmore says... March 27, 2013 at 1:14 p.m.

Part III

Bush's Justice Department made prosecution of voter fraud a priority. They spent a lot of resources trying to find it and what happened was that in the entire nation they came up with about 120 cases over a five year period and about 85 were convicted. This is out of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of votes cast in the USA. That's less than 2 cases per state per tens of millions of votes for five years. This is counting ALL types of elections.
So, when the Bush Justice Department cannot find but a small handful of cases of voter fraud to prosecute when going about looking for them it tells us what most people with any sense know to be the truth: hardly anyone engages in voter fraud because there just is not much gain in it for someone to be motivated to do it, especially in view of the severity of the penalties if caught.

The Republican National Lawyers Association in 2012 got similar results for a 10-year period once you cleared away the cases which were not about fraud but about legitimate errors (thus resulting in acquittals -- something which the Republican lawyers thought should be accounted as fraud in their eyes. Innocence be da**ed!)

Dang it. If your hardcore Republican wonks can't make your case, how can you expect us to believe the outcrys from the dittohead flunkies??

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Packman says... March 27, 2013 at 4:33 p.m.

Hey Jake - "So, before calling me a liar....." Either show where I called you a "liar" or appologize immediately. And it was someone much more intelligent than me who coined that phrase about how liars figure and figures lie. Again, the "need" is out of respect to our electoral system and the fundamental principles on which this nation was founded. And speaking of obfuscation, pot meet kettle. Let's not obfuscate any longer and focus on a simple question: Is it asking too much to require a valid ID to vote? This isn't about Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, east or west but maintaining the integrity of the electoral process. As to need, can there be any greater?

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cdawg says... March 27, 2013 at 8:40 p.m.

>>This isn't about Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, east or west but maintaining the integrity of the electoral process. As to need, can there be any greater?<
It has EVERYTHING to do with Repub v. Democrat. As Jake has stated more Repubs use absentee voting. There is more fraud in absentee voting than poll voting. Hence, King put NOTHING in his measure to address absentee voting, to make absentee voting more cumbersome or restrictive.
As to need can there be anything more urgent than reforming absentee voting?

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JakeTidmore says... March 28, 2013 at 7:34 a.m.

Integrity doesn't present me a sorry solution to a non-existent problem. Integrity doesn't make up words for me and put them in quotes. Integrity doeesn't say that what you write is a lie and that you may be a liar, then act wounded that such comments are called into question.

You have consistently gotten the effect before the cause in this argument. And then demand that we judge the effect without making note of the absence of a cause. That certainly isn't integrity either.

Don't beg for something that you lack in your arguments.

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JakeTidmore says... March 28, 2013 at 8:42 a.m.

One more point....

Integrity certainly does not enter the picture if one ignores suppression of voters. Voter suppression or disenfranchisement means that you do not get to exercise your right to vote. This is a far more serious problem and issue than voter fraud -- thousands upon thousands times more serious. 10-15% of registered voters will be negatively impacted by voter ID laws.
Again, America is about inclusion, not exclusion.
Bear in mind that voter fraud covers a wide range of activities. So, for example, of the 120 cases that the Bush Justice Department found, only 10 of them would have been stopped by Voter ID.
And finally, you're asking us to spend hundreds of thousands of real taxpayer dollars to fight an imaginary problem. Not once have you spoken of the problem in the present tense. You use the future tense -- might, could be, possible, if, etc.
But don't worry. There are several others like you, all skittering around and scared. When we show up at the lake this summer, I expect to see you guys there selling homemade shark repellant and warning us of the maneaters hidden beneath those placid waters.

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Dangarn says... March 28, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.

First the concept that everyone must register at your local court house in the registrars office showing all typed of identity proof is not quite right. When you register, it is true that you must have proof of your ID but the problem with the system is that we have special interest groups out pounding on doors and walking the streets with the documents needed to register anyone that walks by. They are SUPPOSE to check and verify your identity but do we all remember the problems that arose in areas where ACORN was registering voters by the thousands and some fraud was discovered. You can walk into any of their offices as well as a campaign headquarter of any party and most are ready to get you registered. These special interests will want you to register in the party of their choice and many were found to just get your signature and they filled in the blanks. No way there could be any fraud with this system. The other flaw in the system is that as long as the registered voter shows up at least once every few years and votes in any election, they stay eligible to vote for the same said time frame. If a voter dies, there is no system to take that person off the books. If a group keeps up with these past individuals, and they do, they can continue to vote for them. I am not saying that this is a problem in Arkansas but it has started rearing it's ugly head in other states and I hope that this will be a proactive step instead of when it becomes a problem and we have to react. The first way always gets a better result.
After reading most of these posts, I ask a few questions and want clarity on the thought process here. You want me to wait 90 days and jump through hoops including a full Colonoscopy to buy a gun using my second amendment rights but not protect our rights to vote with a simple ID check. I have no problem with either! You make as much sense with these argument as those who believe in abortion but not capital punishment. To me they are both murder!
This is just a simple check to help insure the process is done correctly. The idea that there is not much fraud out there raises this question, even if it stops one incident of fraud don't you think it is worth it? Nearly every law enacted is not to stop overwhelming atrocities but rather that 1 out of 100 who has no scruples and will play the system or anyone else for anything they can get. Most laws do not apply to your everyday person who wants to do right but we are still troubled with them when we have to go to the DMV to renew a license, file our taxes every year, get insurance and have proof on us at all times. See my point. I have not seen or heard one person PROVE that this is going to severely hinder their voting rights. they complain but it is really not a hardship. Some people just want to complain...

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Packman says... March 28, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.

Hey Jake - The words I put in quotation marks were cut and pasted directly from your post. Integrity is apologizing when shown to be wrong. You said I called you a liar. I never did. You are wrong. No apology equals no integrity. You good with that? "Integrity certainly does not enter the picture if one ignores suppression of voters." Please explain how anyone's vote is suppressed aside from those too lazy/dumb/illegal to secure a valid ID? Integrity is most certainly part of the equation when requiring reasonable action on the part of the individual consistent with the fundamental concept of our democracy that with rights come responsibilities. As to the lake (Hamilton) this summer I won't be hard to find. I'll be the guy driving the red Cobalt with Earth, Wind, and Fire or maybe some old school rap blaring from the sound system. And don't be surprised if a stunning brunette is stretched out on the front seat working on her tan. If the red Cobalt doesn't get your attention, the brunette surely will.

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Coralie says... March 28, 2013 at 4:14 p.m.

outinthesticks says "I equate the Democratic Party with the Communist Party. Two peas in a pod!"
I'll bet my favorite meerkat that outinthesticks or else his Pappy voted with the Democrats before the Civil Rights era.

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Coralie says... March 28, 2013 at 4:33 p.m.

One form of voter suppression that was tried last year in several states was for (Republican) officials to rule that only certain types of voter ID were acceptable, available only from certain offices, which were not open at all normal business hours. I believe all of these attempts were struck down by the courts, but they give an idea of what was intended and why.

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Walter says... March 31, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.

Democrats are just worried that if the dead and illegal can't vote, they'll never win another election!

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