LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) - An Arkansas judge declared the state’s new voter identification law unconstitutional on Thursday since it stipulates that voters must meet an additional requirement before casting a ballot.
Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox called the law, which calls for voters to show photo identification cards, “void and unenforceable.”
Nearly three dozen U.S. states have voter identification measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws are part of a nationwide effort at the state level aimed at preventing voter fraud. Critics say they hinder low-income and minority voters and are challenging the laws in several state courts.
Arkansas’ Republican-led Legislature approved the law last year. Democratic Governor Mike Beebe had vetoed the bill, but the state House and Senate overrode the governor.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office said it would work quickly to appeal the ruling on behalf of The Board of Election Commissioners.
The Pulaski County elections board had brought the suit against the state panel.
Reporting by Suzi Parker; Editing by Ian Simpson and Edwina Gibbs