WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Rep. Mark Lowery’s bill to tighten voter ID requirements passed an important Arkansas Senate committee on Tuesday and now moves to the Senate floor. House Bill 1112 would revise the state’s already restrictive voter ID requirements. Currently, voters who forget their IDs when they head to the polls are permitted to sign their name instead. These signatures then have to be verified in order for the ballots to be counted.
H.B. 1112 would reverse this provision and require all voters to bring a valid form of ID with them to the polls. Democratic and Republican committee members raised objections that this stringent requirement would disenfranchise elderly and disabled voters who either don’t have drivers licenses or are less able to return to their polling location multiple times if they forget their ID. Sen. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock) noted that there were zero allegations of fraud among the 2,700 votes cast in Arkansas using the signature method.