LITTLE ROCK — The Republican Party of Arkansas announced Thursday it will launch an education campaign to inform voters about a new law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.
Party officials also said they would provide assistance to those who might need help in getting photo ID.
"We believe that voter ID legislation will result in even more Arkansans participating in the voting process because it will restore public confidence in our elections and help ensure that they are fair and honest," said state GOP Chairman Doyle Webb. "The Republican Party of Arkansas wants all eligible Arkansans to participate in our elections because it strengths our state and our party when they do."
Under Act 595, which became law after the Legislature overrode a veto by Gov. Mike Beebe, the photo ID requirement will go into effect next January or when funding is available for the state secretary of state’s office to train an equip county clerks across the state to produce photo ID cards.
Officials estimate the startup cost at $300,000. Secretary of State Mark Martin said Thursday he expects his office to have the necessary funding for equipment by January.
The bill stipulates that anyone wanting a free ID will be able to get them at their county clerk’s office.
Early next year, after the new voter ID law takes effect, state GOP officials said they plan to launch a program titled "Operation Vote Arkansas."
The program would educate people across the state on the new requirement, and county-level GOP organizations would provide free transportation for any voter who needs help obtaining an ID, regardless of party affiliation.