Lying about needing ID

I have received my absentee ballot for voting in the state of Arkasnas. I was going though the papers, and I noticed something different from last time. The paper with included instructions has an additional statement, saying I need to include a copy of a valid photo ID.

Furthermore, there is an additional orange insert also claiming I need a valid voter ID.

However, the law in question allows for a signed affidavit to substitute for a voter ID. What’s more, the ACLU of Arkansas confirms that the included signed document in the ballot counts as said affidavit. So I clearly am not misunderstanding the law.

Said law is also under judicial review by the Arkansas Supreme Court. It is likely unconstitutional. In fact, what makes this whole thing ridiculous is that my actual ballot contains an initiative to amend the Arkansas Constitution to make it constitutional. So we are in the absurd state of saying something is true while also asking you to vote on it on the ballot!

There is not only no indication of the possible unconstitutionality of the requirement, but there’s no indication in the ballot how one can get an ID. They are required to be free, and can be administered by the county clerk. (Apparently not, say, the DMV who issues the paid ID, which more cities will have.)

This seems utterly ridiculous to me, and a good indication of bad faith. Good faith would indicate the actual situation. But this appears to be an attempt to mislead absentee voters who don’t have an ID into not voting.

Sure, I bet it’s rare that anyone doesn’t have a photo ID they can use. But we exist. And, if I hadn’t looked up the situation online, I would have thought I couldn’t vote!

I put this in elections, but I actually hope that I’ll find out everyone agrees that at least some of this is misleading and should not be.

I want to make sure I understand this. The documents say you need to include both a copy of a photo id and a copy of a voter id card (or maybe one or the other)? However, current law allows a signed affidavit to substitute for the card, but this is not disclosed. There are also no instructions about where or how to get an id. (Do they list types of photo id that are accepted?)

I would say that not mentioning that you can include an affidavit in place of the voter id is misleading.

They simply say you need a copy of a valid photo ID. The exact instructions (not the orange insert) are as follows:

In accordance with Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 51 [section] 13 (b)(1(B); Act 633 of 2017, place a copy of a document or identification card issued by the United States, the State of Arkansas, or an accredited postsecondary education institution in Arkansas that shows your name and photo and is expired no more than four years before the date of the election in the Return Envelope.

The orange insert simply says, in bold capital letters, “Place a copy of a photo I.D. inside the Return Envelope #2. Photo I.D. is required by law!”

However, the ballots also have always required a signed affidavit (under penalty of perjury) that I am the voter and that I am registered in the state of Arkansas. And, based on that ACLU link above, that affidavit counts as sufficient ID under the law.

Or, for our legal eagles, here is the actual text of the law on this matter:

(5) A provisional ballot cast by an absentee voter who failed to
submit with an absentee ballot documentation that complies with subdivision
(b)(1)(A)(ii) of this section shall be counted if:
(A)(i)(a) The voter completes and returns the sworn
statement portion of the absentee ballot form stating that the voter is
registered to vote in this state and that he or she is the person registered
to vote.
(b) A sworn statement returned under
subdivision (b)(5)(A)(i)(a) of this section is not required to be notarized
but the voter shall execute the sworn statement under penalty of perjury; and
(ii) The county board of election commissioners does
not determine that the provisional ballot is invalid and should not be
counted based on other grounds;

Jeez, how confusing. Arkansas is so backwards in so many ways. Every blame thing is so hard to do. I swear they will require headstands to renew liscenses some day. Love the place. It is a difficult place though.
I have a postal address, a 911 address, and a physical address. None are whole-y legal. Oh, and I vote in the next county. It’s close enough to spit across the line but it is a different county than my house sits on. We do have part of our land in that county. So we get the pleasure of paying property tax in 2 counties. Yay!

It seems as if the law DOES require photo ID to be submitted. The law then says that if one is not submitted, the ballot will be considered a provisional ballot, which in a close election will be verified by the election officials, likely involving verifying that the John Smith who signed the ballot actually exists, is a legal voter, and indeed completed the ballot.

Jim Crow Voter suppression.

Your first sentence and the rest of your post contradict one another. If something is required, then there can be no further process that gets around the requirement.

I can vote and have my vote count without including the ID I don’t own. That means, in plain English, that ID is not required.

They lied.

My layman’s understanding of that is this:

  1. If you want your absentee ballot counted in the initial count, a photo ID is required.
  2. If you fail to meet this requirement, your ballot will be considered provisional.
  3. A provisional ballot may or may not be counted, depending on how close the election is.
  4. If your provisional ballot ends up being examined, a sworn statement will allow it to be counted.

Is this also your understanding?

If so, the “If” statement modifying #1 seems significant enough that “required” seems like reasonable language on the ballot.

Do they define “copy” anywhere? I’d be tempted to make a pencil sketch copy of my drivers license and mail it in.

I kind of want to tie John Roberts to a chair and scream both his ruling and RGBs dissent on Shelby v. Holder at him until his ears bleed. YES OF COURSE WE DON’T NEED THE VOTER’S RIGHTS ACT WHY WOULD WE NEED IT TO PREVENT EXACTLY WHAT ISN’T HAPPENING BECAUSE IT’S PREVENTING IT?!

Except for the fact that a voters without ID, might see the word “required”, and assume that there was no way his ballot would ever be counted so they don’t bother voting. (which I suspect is by conscious design rather than oversight.)