A judge has struck down Arkansas’s voter ID law, ruling that it violates the right to vote guaranteed in the state’s constitution.
In an opinion released Thursday afternoon, Circuit Court Judge Timothy Fox wrote that the law, passed last year, “is unconstitutional as it adds additional qualifications for voters” beyond what’s in the constitution, and “impairs the right of suffrage” contained in the constitution.
“We just received the Court’s decision and are in the process of reviewing it,” said Aaron Sadler, a spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, adding, “The State Board of Election Commissioners has already contacted us requesting an appeal and we will work as quickly as possible on the board’s behalf to appeal this decision.”
The law had been challenged by the Pulaski County Election Commission. A separate challenge was filed last week by the ACLU of Arkansas.
Fox’s opinion cited an 1865 ruling by the state Supreme Court, holding that laws depriving qualified voters of the right to vote are unconstitutional. That decision overturned an 1864 law passed by Unionists that disenfranchised anyone still supporting the Confederacy.
SOURCE: Zachary Roth