Arkansas judge blocks state voter ID law

Arkansas judge blocks state voter ID law
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An Arkansas judge blocked a voter ID law Thursday that is nearly the same as another state rule struck down as unconstitutional four years ago, The Associated Press reported.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray granted a preliminary injunction that stops the law from going into effect ahead of the state’s May 22 primary.

Early voting for that primary is set to start on May 7.

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The Arkansas Supreme Court found in 2014 that the state’s voter identification law at the time was unconstitutional and that it went beyond what is required to vote in the state’s Constitution.

However, the state passed another voter ID law in 2017 that was nearly identical to the unconstitutional law.

Advocates for the new measure argued that it addressed the issues brought up in the state Supreme Court's ruling. The new law allowed voters to cast a provisional ballot without a valid ID if they sign a sworn statement confirming their identity.

Arkansas resident Barry Haas sued the state earlier this year over the new voter ID measure. He was one of four residents who had sued over the earlier voter ID law

--Updated at 7:29 p.m.