LITTLE ROCK — The House on Thursday approved a proposed constitutional amendment to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.
House Joint Resolution 1016 by Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs, passed in a 73-21 vote. The resolution goes to Senate.
The proposal, if referred to the November 2018 ballot and approved by voters, would amend the Arkansas Constitution to include among the qualifications to vote a requirement that a person show photo ID before casing a ballot in person and include photo ID when mailing an absentee ballot.
A person who did not show photo ID when voting in person would be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot would be counted if the voter “subsequently certifies the provisional ballot in a manner provided by law.”
The state would be required to make photo identification cards available to voters at no charge.
The Legislature approved a voter ID law in 2013, but the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that it violated the state constitution by creating a qualification for voting not contained in the constitution.
The House approve the bill two days after the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced House Bill 1047 by Rep. Mark Lowery, a measure that would create a voter ID requirement through statute rather than a constitutional amendment.
The Legislature can refer up to three proposed constitutional amendments to the ballot every two years.