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Comments Heated During Public Meeting on Voter ID

During a public meeting Wednesday to discuss the implementation of Arkansas' new voter ID law, supporters said all the talk about people being disenfranchised is overblown.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- During a public meeting Wednesday to discuss the implementation of Arkansas' new voter ID law, supporters said all the talk about people being disenfranchised is overblown.

But opponents said the law will keep some people away from the polls.

The meeting was held by the Secretary of State to gather public opinion before the new law is implemented which could happen as early as January.
     
Jefferson County Election Commissioner Stu Soffer, a Republican, spoke in support of the law, saying critics are just trying to worry voters.

"I'm getting so tired of hearing that bunk," Soffer said.  "It needs to stop."

Democratic opponents of the law reacted to Soffer's comment saying the law will prevent some of the most vulnerable people from casting a ballot.

"Our homeless population, that's one of the large populations that doesn't have one of the requisite IDs," said Julia Atherton with the Washington County Democratic Party.
   
During another meeting in the afternoon, the state Board of Elections Commissioners met to discuss how best to enforce the law.
   
Based on what's happened in other states with similar laws, the commission's legal council said he expects about 800 people across the state to show up on election day without required identification.


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