Arkansas Democrats Killed Photo ID Bill -

Yet 75% in recent Rasmussen Poll Support Showing ID At The Polls

Thursday, June 09, 2011 See this link for the Rasmussen poll:

In our 2011 Arkansas Legislative Session, Representative Bryan King filed HB1797  that would require Arkansas voters to provide proof of identity when voting.  The Democratic Party sent out a press release on HB1797  with their objections and talking points on  the bill (See press release below) . On June 9, 2011 Rasmussen reported that "75% support showing photo ID at the polls"  and that "Support for showing photo ID prior to voting has ranged from 75% to 82% since June 2006.  (See Rasmussen poll below)    Yet  the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs killed King's HB1797 after it passed the House by 53 to 36 (Every legislator voting against the bill  in the House was a Democrat. (See voting record below).  This poll just proves how out of touch the Democrats are with the voters. By a vote of 6-3, in 2008 the Supreme court voted to uphold an Indiana law that requires voters to produce photo identification at the polls.

The Senate Committee killed the bill with a voice vote.  There were four Democrats and four Republicans on the Committee, and HB1797  needed five votes to pass out of committee.  Sue Madison,  Paul Bookout, Robert Thompson, and David Johnson are Democrats.  Gilbert Baker, Kim Hendren, Bill Pritchard, & Johnny Key are Republicans. The Republicans did not ask for a role call vote.

Note the Press Release Below on HB1797 by the Democratic Party,  followed by an article by its sponsor Representative Bryan King. 


By Arkansas Democratic Party - Added 03 March 2011


(LITTLE ROCK) In a move to make voting more difficult for Arkansans, Republican lawmaker Bryan King of Green Forest filed legislation yesterday that would unnecessarily require Arkansas voters to provide photo identification when voting in Arkansas.

  "We should be working on ways to encourage participation in the government process, not restrict voters’ access,” Candace Martin, communications director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas said. “This unnecessary requirement hurts seniors who want to vote but may no longer have a driver’s license or other photo ID as well as college students and lower-income voters who are less likely to hold a driver’s license.”

HB 1797 was filed on Wednesday, March 2 and referred to the Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.

“Imagine the senior in rural Arkansas who gets a ride to vote on Election Day and is then turned away because he or she does not have a driver’s license or photo ID,” Martin said. “Everyone who chooses to vote and participate in the process of government should be able to do so without redundant and unnecessary restrictions that the Republicans want to enact.”

Representative Bryan King (R) of Green Forest represents District 91 and is the sole sponsor on the bill that risks access to voting for seniors, students, and low-income Arkansans.

Why We Should Ask Voters for Photo ID

by State Representative Bryan King

Last week, a Rasmussen poll revealed that 75% of the nation wants a requirement on voters to show photo ID at the polling place. I think writing that into state law would be great for Arkansas, but other legislators disagree. We passed it through the House earlier this year, but we couldn’t get it through a Senate committee dominated by liberals.

Public officials in other states are a little more far-seeing. Wisconsin, Kansas, Georgia, and Indiana have all passed voter ID requirements into law – and Texas and Missouri are considering them.

As Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach recently wrote: “Voter fraud is a well-documented reality in American elections. To offer a few examples, a 2010 state representative race in Kansas City, Mo. Was stolen when one candidate, J.J. Rizzo, allegedly received more than 50 votes illegally cast by citizens of Somalia. The Somalis, who didn't speak English, were coached to vote for Mr. Rizzo by an interpreter at
the polling place. The margin of victory? One vote.”

Despite repeated bipartisan or nonpartisan accounts of voter fraud (such as the unanimous bipartisan findings of a state senate committee a few years ago and the conviction of an east Arkansas quorum court member on voter fraud charges), Arkansas prosecuting attorneys typically decline to file charges in such cases. Why? Because voter fraud is notoriously hard to prove and hard to catch. This means that the voter fraud cases that we know about likely represent a small fraction of the total -- and that we need a better way to catch election thieves.

Earlier this year, Arkansas ACLU lawyer Graham Catlett argued in my committee that a voter ID requirement would prevent some from voting. The evidence is overwhelming that his theory is false. In fact, perhaps because people are more confident of ballot integrity when ID is required, voter ID laws in other states led to increased voter turnout, especially increased minority and Democratic turnout.

A recent Advance Arkansas Institute analysis dug out the facts on this. Its author, former state representative Dan Greenberg, wrote:

“In the 2008 elections in Georgia (which requires voter ID), the state had its largest turnout in history – nearly four million voters. The Republican turnout increased much less than 1 percent; the Democratic turnout was up an astonishing six percentage points, rising from 23 percent of the eligible voting population to 29 percent. Overall turnout in Georgia increased seven percentage points from the 2004 election, more than almost any state in the country. The black share of the statewide vote increased in Georgia from 25 percent in the 2004 election, when the photo ID law was not in effect, to 30 percent in the 2008 election, when it was.


" By contrast, the Democratic turnout in the neighboring state of Mississippi – which has no voter ID requirement but does have, like Georgia, a large black population – increased by only 2 percentage points. In Indiana, which has the nation’s strictest voter ID law, Democratic turnout increased by 8 percent, larger than any other state in the country.  The nearby state of Illinois, which has no photo ID requirement, also saw an increase in Democratic turnout – but one less than half Indiana’s increase.”

Arkansas law requires poll workers to ask voters to show ID when they vote, but voters are free to decline. This policy is indefensible. It seems almost designed to fool the law-abiding public into thinking that we have a secure system of ballot integrity, but it utterly fails to deter anyone who wants to impersonate another voter in order to commit vote fraud.

Carrying a photo ID has become a part of American life. You typically can't enter a federal courthouse, rent a video, cash a check, or even sell scrap metal without one. That's why it's reasonable to require ID in order to protect our most important privilege of citizenship. But just in case any person lacks a photo ID, our proposed Arkansas law provided a free state ID to anyone who needs one. Other states have included similar provisions in their photo-ID laws.

No candidate, Republican or Democrat, wants to be named as the victor of an allegedly stolen election. Requiring voter ID gives confidence to voters and candidates alike that elections are fair.

75% Support Showing Photo ID At The Polls

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Support remains high for requiring voters to show photo identification before being allowed to cast their ballots. An increasing number of states across the country are putting that requirement into law.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely U.S. Voters believe voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote. Just 18% disagree and oppose such a requirement. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans support a photo ID requirement at the polls, as do 77% of voters not affiliated with either major party and 63% of Democrats. But then support for such a law is high across virtually all demographic groups.

Supporters of photo ID laws say they will prevent fraud at the polls; opponents insist the laws will discourage many including minorities and older Americans from voting.

By a 48% to 29% margin, voters think that letting ineligible people vote is a bigger problem than preventing legitimate voters from casting a ballot.

Support for showing photo ID prior to voting has ranged from 75% to 82% since June 2006.

Representatives voting against HB1797 HB1797  -  AN ACT TO REQUIRE THAT A VOTER PROVIDE PROOF OF IDENTITY WHEN VOTING.  53 Representatives voted FOR it. Link to voting record:

Nays - Everyone that voted Nay was a Democrat.

Nays: 36
Allen Baker Bradford Brown Catlett Cheatham
Dickinson Elliott Fielding Hall Ingram Leding
Lenderman Lindsey Love Lovell McCrary Murdock
Patterson Pierce Post Powers Ratliff Roebuck
Rogers G. Smith Steele Stewart Thompson Walker
Webb B. Wilkins Williams Word Wren Wright

Everyone that Did not vote (which in essence is a no vote was a Democrat)

Non Voting

Non Voting: 10
Collins-Smith Cowling Edwards Hyde Overbey Pennartz
Summers Tyler H. Wilkins Mr. Speaker    

Posted July 7, 2011