Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen who last week enjoined enforcement of four new state laws aimed at erecting new barriers to voting has issued his formal orders in the case.

Here’s the injunction.


And here’s the 86-page opinion with the findings of fact and conclusions of law.

The judge rejected the state’s argument that the laws enhanced voting integrity. He said no proof was presented and the state’s argument was conjecture. The laws stiffened a signature match requirement to obtain an absentee ballot; outlawed contact with voters outside the polls, even to provide water for those in long lines; shortened the deadline for returning absentee ballot applications, and eliminated an affidavit alternative for absentee ballots submitted without photo ID.


The state is appealing.

UPDATE: The Democracy Docket, which participated in the case, is spreading the news.


It notes this is the first court ruling striking down suppression laws passed since the 2020 election and a key factor to help increase voter participation in low-turnout states such as Arkansas. It quotes Griffen:

The judge explicitly rejected the defendants’ main arguments during the trial that these laws were designed to “ensure election integrity” and prevent voter fraud, concluding that, based on the complete lack of voter fraud presented by the defendants, the “uncontradicted proof in this case is that there is no evidence of fraudulent voting in Arkansas, whether in person or by absentee ballot.” You can read more about the challenged laws here.

Breaking down the lack of evidence presented by the defendants, the judge admonished that “the evidence presented during the trial of this lawsuit demonstrates that [the challenged laws] are based entirely on conjecture, speculation, surmise, misinformation, and fear-mongering about allegations of voter fraud and election insecurity. Defendants concede that concerns about voter fraud and election insecurity in Arkansas are baseless and fabricated. Conjecture, speculation, surmise, misinformation, baseless, and fabricated concerns about voter fraud and election insecurity does not constitute competent evidence.”