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Arkansas Supreme Court Rules on Voter ID, Marriage

voter-ID_2Yesterday, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that struck down the state’s voter ID law. While the court didn’t rule on the law’s constitutionality, it contended that the lower court shouldn’t have ruled on the law’s constitutionality, either.

Under the new law, voters who don’t show ID can cast provisional ballots. For the vote to count, they must present photo ID to county election officials before noon on the Monday after an election, sign an affidavit declaring themselves “poor,” or invoke a religious objection to being photographed.

This decision comes as courts have nullified other states’ voter ID laws. Judges in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania recently struck down voter ID laws in those states. The U.S. Supreme Court has already spoken on this issue. The court held 6-3 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008) that Indiana’s photo voter ID law was constitutional as a legitimate state interest to prevent fraud at the polls and maintain the integrity of the voting process.

In another case, Arkansas’s highest court refused to halt a lower court’s ruling that overturned the state’s law against redefining marriage. Judge Chris Piazza recently tossed the state’s decade-old law that protected marriage. Arkansas’s attorney general had asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to stay the ruling. Does this mean two people of the same sex can perform a ceremony and call themselves married? Maybe. Piazza didn’t rule on a law that would fine county clerks if they issued “marriage” licences to homosexuals.

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