Governor Beebe Monday afternoon vetoed Senate Bill, the Voter ID bill, saying he believes the bill “unnecessarily restricts and impairs our citizens’ right to vote” and is an “expensive solution in search of a problem.”
Arkansas law requires poll workers to ask voters for identification but voters may cast a ballot if they don’t have a valid form of identification. The proposed legislation would require the state to make voter ID cards for registered voters who do not have valid identification. The cost to produce the cards is estimated to be around $300,000.
“The Bureau of Legislative Research estimates that Senate Bill 2 will cost approximately $300,000 in tax dollars to implement; and that estimate does not take into account the ongoing costs that the taxpayers will continue to bear in future years,” Beebe said in a Monday afternoon news release. “At a time when some argue for the reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy and for reduced government spending, I find it ironic to be presented with a bill that increases government bureaucracy and increases government expenditures, all to address a need that has not been demonstrated. I cannot approve such an unnecessary measure that would negatively impact one of our most precious rights as citizens.”
Shortly after Beebe vetoed the bill, Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb released the following statement:
“By vetoing voter ID legislation, Governor Beebe has once again overruled the wishes of Arkansas voters, disregarded the will of bipartisan majorities who passed the bill in the legislature, and even ignored the opinion his own Attorney General released just this afternoon. In order to ensure the fairness and integrity of Arkansas elections, we look forward to overriding this veto in the days to come.”