Voter ID Veto Override Delayed Despite 77% Support

77 percent support voter IDTwo days ago, the Senate overrode Governor Beebe’s veto of the voter ID bill, SB2. The House was scheduled to vote on the override yesterday, but the vote was delayed. On Twitter, Rep. Stephen Meeks — who carried the bill on the House side — told me the vote was delayed due to a “LONG calendar.” A previous tweet from Rep. Meeks said the issue was not being brought up in order to allow legislators to get home early for Easter weekend. Perhaps, however, there is more to the story.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Davy Carter declined to say whether or not he would support the override. With a 51-49 party split in the House, his vote is needed to secure the passage of the law. When the bill originally passed the House, he did not vote.

Here’s what he told the AP on Wednesday:

“I’m going to go back and read the (attorney general’s) opinion and the governor’s reasoning on why he vetoed the bill,” he told reporters. “Fundamentally I think we’re down to the reasoning behind the veto, so I’ll look at that and see.”

This is an interesting comment, given that the Attorney General’s opinion said the bill would most likely withstand a legal challenge. As for the “reasoning behind the veto,” well, I’ve already pretty well debunked it.

The debate over voter ID has been waged since Speaker Carter first joined the House in 2009. During his first session, a voter ID bill was brought by then-Representative Bryan King to the House State Agencies Committee. It never made it to the floor, but Carter was on that committee.

In 2011, King brought a voter ID bill again. It made it through committee and to the House floor — Carter voted for it. It’s not clear why Speaker Carter now “needs more time” to consider how he will vote on this bill the third time.

Thursday, after the House delayed the veto override vote, Carter told the AP, “We had a busy calendar, we had a long week and I didn’t want to deal with it today.” Is he undecided and needs more time — or was the calendar too full? It isn’t entirely clear.

In response to comments from now Senator King that Carter is flip-flopping on the issue, Carter said, “For a guy who needs my vote, he sure isn’t going about it in a very good way.” I find it very troubling that Speaker Carter at least appears to be willing to sacrifice election integrity over a comment from King that he called “inappropriate.” Will he let a personal dispute derail four years of hard work towards fair elections?

If Carter fails to vote for the veto override, he’s not just opposing his own party or proponents of election reform in Arkansas — he’s opposing the overwhelming majority of Americans in both parties as well as Independents. A Pew poll released in late October showed that 95% of Republicans, 83% of Independents, and even 61% of Democrats support voter ID laws. That’s a total average of 77% of all Americans. Additionally, Rasmussen has released polling showing that majorities of women and minorities support voter ID as well.

Election integrity isn’t a Republican issue. It isn’t really even a “conservative” issue. It’s a common-sense issue supported by vast majorities of Americans. Here’s hoping Speaker Carter agrees.

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7 thoughts on “Voter ID Veto Override Delayed Despite 77% Support

  • March 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm
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    Screw you NIck. Davy is right on this. Unlike you GOP trolls he doesn’t support a poll tax.

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    • March 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm
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      Such witty dialogue. How is somethingthat costs nothing a “poll tax?” Oh yes, because it would disenfrancise ineligible voters (wait, they are already suppose to be disenfrachised!) Try again, Einstein.

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  • April 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm
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    Why is it that the left finds it so hard to debate the facts and just goes straight to name calling? I suppose the truth really does hurt when your always against it !

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  • April 4, 2013 at 7:44 am
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    I find it interesting that the voter I. D. bill would create another layer of responsibility for every county in Arkansas, and add extra expense. I thought Mark Martin solved all those problems when he bought the new vehicle and was going to visit every county to cooperatively solve any problems. (course he spent money from the wrong pot and tried asking for forgiveness which the newspapers shined the light on incompetence and failure to read the rules of the office in which he was elected to serve.) But back to the present day: when I go to the courthouse and register to vote, the information I submit to the clerk is checked on the spot, then when I go to vote in an election I am asked for picture I.D. and my information is again checked. You folks who rabidly support this bill have devised a solution in search of a problem. But who am I to critize wasting the taxpayers time and money to march in lockstep with what all other states who have republican majorities in both houses of government. Good luck with that.

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    • April 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm
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      You say “when I go to the courthouse and register to vote, the information I submit to the clerk is checked on the spot, then when I go to vote in an election I am asked for picture I.D. and my information is again checked. You folks who rabidly support this bill have devised a solution in search of a problem.” What you fail to realize is that before this law was passed, when asked to present a photo ID to vote, the law permitted you to decline to do so. Please don’t ignore salient facts when attempting to make your case.

      Reply
  • Pingback:The Arkansas Project — Court Finds Wisconsin Voter ID Law Constitutional

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