The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state’s voter identification law on Wednesday, saying that it would set a new requirement for voting beyond those listed in the state’s Constitution.
The Arkansas ruling found that the law went beyond the four qualifications for voting in the state Constitution. The Constitution says that a voter must be a United States citizen, a resident of the state, at least 18 years old and lawfully registered to vote in the election. “These four qualifications set forth in our state’s Constitution simply do not include any proof-of-identity requirement,” the ruling said.
Because the ruling is on state constitutional grounds, pro-vote suppression federal courts will almost certainly not be able to overrule it. There are legitimate concerns about making changes close to an election, but that concern is much greater when requirements are added than when they’re taken away; nobody will be prevented from voting because the ID requirement is struck down, and there shouldn’t be any logistical problems in enforcing it.