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Problems alleged in Arkansas voter-ID requirement

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 21, 2014 at 4:13 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — A day after the first statewide election with a voter identification requirement, the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it is investigating reports of some polling places being too strident in enforcing the rule.

ACLU legal director Holly Dickson said Wednesday that she'd gotten reports that some poll workers used barcode readers to scan in driver licenses, a step that's not part of the voter-ID law. She says some other workers quizzed voters about information on their driver licenses, something else that she says isn't stated in the law.

The voter-ID law was declared unconstitutional by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox before the election but he postponed imposition of his ruling, so the law was enforced Tuesday and during early voting.


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trainingman says... May 21, 2014 at 4:23 p.m.

Bull Crap, I went into my precinct, showed my picture ID and voted! All done within 10 minutes, I live in West Little Rock. I really see no issue with the voter ID requirement, people trying to cheat the system is the only issue!

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dvc72120 says... May 21, 2014 at 4:35 p.m.

Attorneys with the ACLU need to get a real job.

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jmoz says... May 21, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.

Some polling places? How about being specific. It sounds as if the ACLU has no specifics or evidence. The polling places in Little Rock where I have voted have asked for a picture ID for years. It is time to get over this. Let's face it. You cannot enter a federal building without a picture on a current state issued ID. That means a person cannot go to a Social Security office to sign up for Medicare, Social Security, or Social Security disability without a current, valid picture ID. It also stops me from voting for my neighbor or family member. Or someone I don't even know.

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RBBrittain says... May 21, 2014 at 5:10 p.m.

@mutantpower: I don't like voter ID either, but how come you keep saying "broken thread" just because people who support voter ID are posting? That's not only normal, but it's expected given the ADG's own editorial policies. I disagree with them, but that does NOT mean they can't post...

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LeGrandOurs says... May 21, 2014 at 5:29 p.m.

Did not experience any of those "ALLEGED" concerns at our polling station. Poll workers simply looked at my DL to make sure the name matched the name on the rolls if registered voters. A "bar code scanner"?!!! Seriously?? Neither the state nor county budget for that. ACLU is digging for dirt with a shovel on a polished marble floor.

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JakeTidmore says... May 21, 2014 at 9:17 p.m.

For more info, go to Talking Points Memo and look for "Arkansas Voters Complain About Quizzing By Poll Workers Checking IDs".

From ArkTimes:


I voted in the Democratic primary at Temple Baptist Church, Springdale, Arkansas. I was asked many questions. The little old lady was pleasant and I was nice to her but I was asked to specifically mention that the word "Place" was in my street address in addition to the street name, etc.


I am writing to inform you that I was quizzed on my date of birth after providing ID at the Graves Memorial Baptist Church polling location in Oak Grove, AR.


The illegal quiz happened to my wife and me in Phillips County.


They took my photo ID and then asked for information.


I was quizzed about my name, address and birthdate while the election volunteer held my license where I couldn't see it. Is that also part of the photo ID law? I mean, my drivers license does have my photo right there on the front... Are we testing for fake IDs now, too?


I was asked address and birthday after showing ID. I actually took it out and laid it on the table. She was holding while asking me questions. I voted at Immanuel Baptist. For the record, I'm a Republican who feels voter ID is unconstitutional and legislation is not enough to require voter ID. I think only a constitutional amendment could so that.


"In Hot Spring County, I dropped 4 picture ID's on the desk, to include passport, retired military ID, concealed carry permit and AR driver's license, as well as my voter registration card. The officials laughed and said oh we get a choice, however one official said "All I want is the driver's license, because my machine reads the bar code," which of course I cannot read and may very well have identifying information such as party, religious preferences and other background information not relevant to my citizenship but could very easily be used to cull out undesirable voters. She proceeded to ask me several questions which had nothing to do with my skin color or registration status. I almost balked and made a snarky remark but my wife knew what was coming and grabbed my elbow. Next time I will present my passport and cause a commotion. I also intend writing my reps, newspapers and on-line forums objecting strongly to the flawed implementation of a thinly-disguised disenfranchisement."

Bear in mind that most went well. But it is hypocritical to rave about the dangers of voter fraud (which is practically non-existent) but turn a blind eye to poll workers harrassing voters trying to exercise the right to vote. It was a stupid law and remains a stupid law and it is causing more harm than it's worth.

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JakeTidmore says... May 21, 2014 at 9:21 p.m.

This illustrates the problem you have when fearmongers succeed and the chicken littles squawk incessantly and quake in terror at such foolishness.
Cowards. Hope that they choke the next time they try to claim that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. The yellow stripe down their back belongs on a highway separating traffic, not in the public domain separating us from our contitutional rights.

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