League of Women Voters file lawsuit against state for absentee voter changes

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The League of Women Voters (LWV) and two other complainants filed a lawsuit Monday against Secretary of State John Thurston and the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners because they feel the state’s absentee ballot procedures could infringe on voters’ rights.

LWV President Nell Matthews said that many people are voting absentee for the first time and that the procedures need to be equal and fair across the state. She also believes that there is no reason simple clerical errors should discount a ballot, Matthews said, “If they fail to include your photo ID then notified and they could still up to the Monday after the election, they can bring in their photo ID or some other way, some other process to show that they made that cast that ballot and they are who they say they are. Now, these cases with the wrong day or with you decide on with the signature of it doesn’t match for some reason they don’t have to do any kind of notice and cure allowing you to go in and fix the problem.”

Matthews also said there is not enough training for election officials across the state to make some of those judgment calls on signature differences.

The proposal she says LWV has is nothing radical and mentioned two other states, Georgia and Virginia, have similar “Notice and Cure” processes, she said, “So this is not unprecedented and it’s not onerous we think because they’re already looking for photo IDs asking for those to be brought back.”

The LWV is hoping a judge will grant a preliminary injunction for these processes to be allowed in the November 3 election.  Matthews said, “We got to get this right we want everyone every citizen who is entitled to vote needs to have the opportunity to vote.”

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