Arkansas Elections

election voter ID vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' attorney general has filed a notice to challenge a state judge's ruling that found Arkansas' new voter ID law unconstitutional.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed notice Friday that his office would appeal Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox's ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court. A day earlier, Fox ruled the state's voter ID law was "void and unenforceable."

A spokesman for the attorney general says the state will ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to stay Fox's ruling.

A Pulaski County judge says a court rule that suspends Arkansas lawyers who don't pay their annual dues on time is unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Wednesday in a case involving Angela Byrd, who is seeking a judgeship in the 20th Judicial District.

A resident challenged Byrd's eligibility for the ballot, citing a state law that requires judges to be licensed attorneys for six years before taking office. Byrd's license was suspended for a day after she paid her dues 36 hours late.

election voter ID vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas's Board of Election Commissioners are set to consider whether they will permanently adopt the emergency rules for absentee ballots that they approved last month.

Board Director Justin Clay says the seven-member body will vote on approving the rules as permanent provisions in their scheduled Wednesday meeting.

The rules passed by the board in late February allow a brief grace period for absentee voters to submit proof of identification if they didn't attach them their ballot when voting.

Two potential issues that may be on the November ballot offer contrasting attitudes from Arkansas voters.

The latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll of more than 1,000 likely voters shows that an overwhelming majority of Arkansans are in favor of raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour, while voters are evenly split on a possible medical marijuana proposal. Both citizen-led initiatives are collecting signatures before a July deadline to qualify for the November ballot.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Pulaski County Election Commission is asking a judge to deny the Arkansas Republican Party's request to intervene in a lawsuit over the way absentee ballots are handled under the state's new voter ID law.

The commission on Monday asked a Pulaski County judge to reject the GOP's effort to help defend a state panel's decision to allow absentee voters who don't submit a copy of their photo identification with their ballot additional time to turn in their ID.

The commission is suing the state Board of Election Commissioners, saying the state board overstepped its bounds.

Robinson
Flickr

Voters in Little Rock are considering a proposal to pay for up to $73.5 million in renovations to the city's Robinson Center Music Hall.

Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The plan asks voters to dedicate a portion of the city's existing 2 percent restaurant and hotel tax to repay bonds for the project.

The tax had been used for the construction of the Statehouse Convention Center, and those bonds are about to be retired.

The music hall in downtown Little Rock was built in 1939 and hasn't had any major renovations.

AG Dustin McDaniel (D)
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the wording of a proposed ballot measure aimed at limiting corporate spending to influence elections in Arkansas.

McDaniel rejected the proposal's wording on Wednesday, citing what he said were ambiguities and deficiencies in the proposed ballot title and text. 

McDaniel has to certify the wording of a proposed measure before groups can begin gathering signatures needed to qualify for a spot on the ballot.

The proposal that McDaniel rejected on Wednesday comes from the Regnat Populus Ballot Question Committee.

Arkansas Lawmakers To Review Voter ID Rules

Oct 9, 2013

Arkansas lawmakers are reviewing the rules for enforcing a new state law that will require voters to show photo identification when they cast a ballot.

A subcommittee of the Legislative Council was scheduled Wednesday to discuss the rules that the state Board of Election Commissioner approved for enforcing the voter ID law.

The Republican-controlled Legislature enacted the law earlier this year when it overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

The rules approved in August closely mirror those outlined in the law, which takes effect in January. 

The Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners Wednesday approved rules for enforcing a new law requiring voters to show a photo identification at the polls. It takes effect in January.

Meanwhile Alex Reed, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, says they’re making arrangements to provide free ID cards for those who, for one reason or another, don’t have one.

A contract with a company to provide machines to make the cards was signed Tuesday.  It’s hoped they’ll be in use by the beginning of Decmeber.

Arkansas Panel To Take Up Rules For Voter ID Law

Aug 21, 2013

A state board is taking up the rules for enforcing a new Arkansas law that will require voters to show photo identification before they can cast a ballot.

The state Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday is scheduled to consider the rules for the voter ID law that legislators approved earlier this year.

The law requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls. The rules closely mirror the law the Republican-controlled Legislature approved in April when it overrode Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of the voter ID legislation.

The state's move toward implementing a new voter ID law and Thursday's sentencing of former Arkansas lawmaker Hudson Hallum for election fraud have raised some questions about upholding the integrity of the election process in our state.

Hallum was sentenced in federal court in Little Rock to one year of home detention and three years probation. He was also fined $20,000 and must serve 100 hours of community service.

Hudson Hallum
Danny Johnston / AP Photo

A former east Arkansas legislator convicted of conspiracy to commit election fraud is appearing in court to be sentenced. 

Former Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum on Thursday is scheduled to appear before a federal judge for sentencing. His father, Kent Hallum, is also set to appear before the judge in a separate sentencing hearing. 

Hallum pleaded guilty in September, along with his father and two campaign workers.

Prosecutors said Hallum bribed voters and used absentee ballots to commit fraud in the 2011 election for his seat.

Arkansas Panel Reviewing Rules On Voter ID Law

Jun 19, 2013

An Arkansas panel is reviewing the rules for enforcing a new state law that will require voters to show photo identification at the polls before they can cast a ballot.

The state Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday was scheduled to review the rules for enforcing the state's voter ID law, which takes effect next year.

Poll workers are currently required to ask for identification, but voters can still cast a ballot if they don't show ID.

Former Democratic U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas is now a lobbyist working on issues that impact small businesses and independent contractors. Lincoln lost her Senate seat to Republican John Boozman in the 2010 election. 

In an interview with Talk Business Arkansas, Lincoln says Senator Mark Pryor will face many challenges for reelection, especially when it comes to getting his message out to voters.

2 Men Sentenced In Arkansas Election Fraud Case

May 23, 2013

Two men who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in an election fraud case involving a former east Arkansas lawmaker have been sentenced to home confinement and probation.

Federal court records show that Phillip Wayne Carter was sentenced Wednesday to five months of home confinement. Sam Malone was sentenced Tuesday to 7.2 months of home confinement. Both men were also sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

Arkansas Governor Vetoes 3 Election Reform Bills

Apr 23, 2013
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has vetoed three bills aimed at overhauling the state's election commission, including one that would create a "voter integrity unit" to investigate fraud complaints.

Beebe on Tuesday vetoed the three bills by Republican Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest. He rejected the measures after lawmakers recessed this year's legislative session.

Arkansas voters will get to decide whether to toughen the requirements to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot through the petition process after the state House gave final approval to the measure Friday.

Senate Joint Resolution 16 would require that signatures be 75 percent correct for petitioners to receive additional time to collect the full, required number of signatures.

Representative Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, said the amendment is needed in light of a high number of fake or incorrect names that were turned in on petitions before the last election.

The Arkansas House on Monday completed an override of Governor Mike Beebe's veto of a bill that would require Arkansas voters to present photo identification before casting ballots.

The override passed the chamber, 52-45.

The vote was down party lines accept for the vote of Rep. Fred Love, D-Little Rock, who later asked to have his vote expunged indicating that it was a mistake.

Rep. Steven Meeks, R-Greenbrier, spoke for the bill saying voters want the added protection from fraud surrounding the voting process.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The Arkansas Senate voted 21-12 Wednesday to override the Governor's veto of a bill that would require voters in the state to present valid photo identification before casting a ballot.

This is the third veto the Senate has overridden this legislative session. The other two were on abortion restrictions.

The Senate delivered a letter announcing the override to the House of Representatives which also has to vote to override the veto.

Nathan Vandiver

A bill to require Arkansas voters to show a valid photo ID before casting a ballot is on it’s way to the Governor after clearing its final hurdle in the Senate today.

The bill was already passed by the Senate, but it picked up an amendment in the House, so today’s vote was to adopt the amendment. The measure passed 22-12.

Arkansas Panel Rejects Campaign Finance Proposals

Mar 12, 2013
Arkansas State Legislature / www.arkleg.state.ar.us

A Senate panel has rejected measures that would have prohibited using campaign funds to buy tickets to another candidate's event and barred campaign contributions from businesses sharing the same majority owner.

On Tuesday, the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee rejected by a voice vote the campaign finance measures by Democratic Sen. Bruce Maloch of Magnolia.

The first proposal was aimed at preventing campaigns from transferring funds to another candidate by purchasing tickets to fundraisers and other events.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is putting his support behind legislation that he says will reduce fraud in the state’s ballot initiative process.

McDaniel and Sen. Keith Ingram, a Democrat from West Memphis, told reporters at the Capitol Thursday that proposed legislation would stiffen penalties for knowingly collecting and submitting fraudulent signatures within the state’s ballot initiative process.

McDaniel referred to last year’s election is a prime example that the process needs reform.

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