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Money Issue Holds Up Voter ID Bill

Photo identification when you go to vote sailed through the Arkansas senate, but it was a much different story on Wednesday as a House of Representatives panel slammed the brakes on the idea.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Photo identification when you go to vote sailed through the Arkansas senate, but it was a much different story on Wednesday as a House of Representatives panel slammed the brakes on the idea.

The issue that's holding it up: money.

Legislators want to know how much photo voter i-d will cost the state, and until they get that amount, they won't vote on the idea.

Bill sponsor Bryan King has repeatedly told fellow legislators it would cost around $300,000 to place photo ID machines in 87 county clerks' offices around the state, but, others believe it will cost much more.

So before anything happens on the House side, King will have to come back with an independent cost impact.

Still, the voter ID issue remains hotly contested.

Supporters say it ensures election integrity, while detractors argue it could suppress voter turnout and addresses a non-existent problem of voter impersonation in Arkansas.

"We do not develop vaccines for diseases we do not know about, and therefore it makes no sense to develop a cure for a disease that's never been found in Arkansas," Judge Wendell Griffen says.

"I am of the belief that people have been defrauded of their vote and I ask you how you can assure that that has not happened when we know there have been bold attempts to steal votes in Arkansas," said Rep. Ann Clemmer.

So it seems like House members have a good idea what they feel about the concept of photo voter ID, they just want more details on how much it will cost.
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