FORREST CITY — Election officials say more than 80 percent of absentee votes in St. Francis County were disqualified in Tuesday's primary because of a lack of identification.
St. Francis County Election Commission Chairman Frederick Freeman said the county received 102 absentee ballots for the election. Of those, only 19 were counted because 83 were submitted without proof of identification, which is now required under Arkansas' voter ID law.
The law passed last year gave people who voted in person extra time to show proof of ID. But the law contained no such provision for absentee voters, and the state's attempt to adopt the rule failed under a court challenge.
Freeman told the Times-Herald that he believes the current process puts a barrier in place for many voters, particularly the elderly.