The Arkansas Republican Party is hoping to intervene in the lawsuit over how to deal with absentee ballots under the state’s Voter ID law, but the Pulaski County Election Commission yesterday asked a Pulaski County judge to turn down the GOP’s request, the AP reports. The commission filed suit last month against the state Board of Election Commissioners, arguing that the board overstepped its authority when it followed the guidance of Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin and adopted a rule that absentee votes without ID should be treated as provisional ballots, with the voter having until the Monday after the election to present ID.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel previously issued an opinion stating that an absentee voter who fails to include the newly required proof of identification by mail has no opportunity to correct the omission. (I say this every time this issue comes up, but I’ve still heard no good reason to bother requiring ID for absentee ballots in the first place, since the voter isn’t there for an election official to check the picture against. It’s almost like they just want to make the whole thing a hassle. Or wrote the law sloppily. Or both.)
State Republican Party chair Doyle Webb has argued that McDaniel, a Democrat, can’t defend the law because of that opinion, and that McDaniel was biased against Voter ID laws. (Said McDaniel last month: “This is not a partisan matter. This is about defending the actions of a state board, which is something my office does effectively every single day.”)