- Associated Press - Saturday, March 29, 2014

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Craighead County election officials are closely watching a Pulaski County lawsuit regarding Arkansas’ voter identification law and say a ruling is needed before the May primary elections.

“If it’s not solved before May, we will be in position where we have to make a decision to either go against the attorney general or the state Board (of Election Commissioners),” Craighead County Election Commission Chairman Scott McDaniel told The Jonesboro Sun (https://bit.ly/1obDpz7 ).

At issue is the voter ID law passed last year over Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto, which requires voters to provide a government ID before voting. But it allows in-person voters who don’t show identification at the time of voting until the Monday after the election to present proper IDs to the election commission to have their votes counted.

The law makes no mention of a similar grace period for absentee voters.

The issue first arose in a January Craighead County special election when some voters submitted absentee ballots without proper voter IDs.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who is Scott McDaniel’s cousin, issued an opinion saying the ballots should not be counted because counting them was not specified in the law.

The state Board of Election Board then created a rule allowing the grace period for absentee voters.

The lawsuit challenges the state Election Board’s rule, saying the board overstepped its authority.

Scott McDaniel said his greatest concern is how long it takes for the lawsuit to be decided, one way or the other.

“Until that judge rules, it’s still undecided,” he said. “What happens when one county does one thing and another county does the other?” he asked. “We are heading toward an oncoming train.”

Scott McDaniel said if one county decides to count absentee ballots and another county does not, the issue could result in another lawsuit.

The Arkansas Republican Party has asked to intervene in the lawsuit, arguing that Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, can’t adequately represent GOP voters.

The GOP on Wednesday asked a Pulaski County judge to allow it to help defend the state Board of Election Commissioners‘ rule.


Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, https://www.jonesborosun.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide