Last Tuesday, voters in Pulaski County, Arkansas voted on whether to approve a tax that would fund improvements at a local technical college. Yet, nearly 20 percent of the voters who cast an absentee ballot were disenfranchised thanks to the state’s new voter ID law.
In 2013, the Arkansas legislature enacted a voter ID law containing a provision requiring absentee voters to include a copy of their ID along with their ballot. The result, according to a statement Pulaski County Election Commissioner Chris Burks gave to the Arkansas Times, is that 76 of the 384 absentee ballots cast in last Tuesday’s election were not counted. Burks added that, “[i]n my opinion, those absentee ballots returned without ID were 76 real people’s votes that would have otherwise counted but for the sloppily drafted Voter ID bill.”