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Arkansas legislature overrides governor's veto of voter ID bill

The Arkansas House of Representatives [official website] on Monday voted 52-45 to override Governor Mike Beebe's [official website] veto [JURIST report] of a bill [SB2, PDF] that requires voters to provide photo identification. Since the state senate voted March 27 to override the veto, the bill now becomes law under the requirements of Article VI of the Arkansas Constitution [text, PDF]. The bill provides that if a county clerk is unable to verify the voter's registration, then the voter may vote a provisional ballot that would only be counted upon verification the individual's voter status, and that the Secretary of State must provide voter ID cards at no cost to individuals upon request. The act is to go into effect January 1, 2014, provided that the necessary funding is available.

Voter ID laws [JURIST backgrounder] have become increasingly controversial and commonplace throughout the US. There are now more than 30 US States [NCSL backgrounder] that require voters to present some form of ID at the polls, including multiple states that have passed laws requiring photo ID. The law passed in Arkansas follows a recent wave of legislative veto-overriding. The state legislature in March overrode [JURIST report] Beebe's veto of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act [Act 301, PDF; materials] and in February overrode [JURIST report] the governor's veto of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act [HB 1037, PDF].

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