Ark. court vacates ruling striking down voter ID law

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a lower court's decision that found the state's voter identification law unconstitutional. 

In a ruling Wednesday, the state's high court found Judge Tim Fox did not have the authority to rule on the merits of the entire voter identification law since the question posed in the lower court case last month was narrowly about an absentee voting provision.

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The high court did not actually rule on the constitutionality of the voter identification law, which is slated to be used statewide for the first time in the upcoming primary election. 

Another case on the constitutionality of the law is making its way through the Arkansas courts. 

In its ruling Wednesday, however, the state Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's decision on the narrow absentee-voting question. 

The Arkansas voter identification law allows citizens who do not show proof of identification at the time of voting to come back within six days with identification to have their vote counted. The state board of elections created similar guidelines for absentee voters. However, the lower court ruled it did not have the authority to do so. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures rates Arkansas's law as one of the strictest in the nation among the 31 active laws in the country. 

The state legislature passed the law last year over Gov. Mike Beebe's (D) veto.

Voter identification laws have been struck down in two other states, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.   

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