State Rep. Charles Blake of Little Rock has sent us draft legislation of a vote security law. It’s timely, with vote suppression on the rise here and elsewhere and lingering problems nationwide as votes continue to be counted in tight elections.

Today, for example, the New York Times reports on Florida voters learning, with dismay, that their votes won’t be counted because of discrepancies in signatures on mail-in ballots when compared with signatures given in registration. They learned too late to make corrections. As the Times notes:


The signature battle touches on constitutional questions of equal protection and free speech. But it is rooted in larger societal trends that are rapidly rendering an individual’s handwriting an unreliable electoral hallmark.

But back to Arkansas, where voters just approved a constitutional amendment requiring a photo ID to vote, and Charles Blake:

He says he’s been working with the secretary of state’s office on his Voter Integrity and Security Act, which would not require state spending: His summary of the bill says it:


· Uses secure database to verify that only eligible citizens are registered

· Creates a secure electronic database to make it easier for officials to maintain accurate lists of eligible voters

· Modernizes our outdated registration system

· Will allow Arkansans who have not registered to automatically register- if they choose

· Allows Arkansans to unregister at anytime

· Allows Arkansans to automatically update their voter registration after a change of address or whenever needed

· Removes deceased Arkansans from voting rolls

· Defines voter intimidation and makes it a class D felony

· Guarantees the ability for disabled Arkansans to receive assistance at polling places

· Prevents any attempts from blocking a qualified voter from voting.

Making it harder to vote has been popular in recent years in the legislature and in other Republican-controlled states. Will making it easier and more secure be well-received?

Here’s his draft legislation. It includes using driver’s license applications for voter registration.