In 2013, Republican legislators overrode the Governor Mike Beebe’s veto to pass a law requiring voters to show photo IDs. Beebe called the bill an expensive solution to a non-existent problem. If voters don’t have them, they can cast provisional ballots and return with IDs by the Monday after the election. The state will also provide free IDs to people who do not already have them. In each case, for the elderly, poor and minorities, the result is intimidation, impediments to voting, delay, and embarrassment. America needs to foster enthusiasm and pride in voting, not frustration and delusion.
State Rep. John Walker, a Little Rock Democrat and noted civil rights lawyer, warned lawmakers to “not go back on history” by enacting the requirement, which is really designed to make it harder for minorities, students, and the elderly to vote. Black lawmakers in Arkansas have compared the new voter ID law to poll taxes used in the Jim Crow era.