Pulaski Co. Disqualifies Fewer Absentee Ballots Due to Voter ID in Runoff

Pulaski County is possibly making headway when it comes to absentee ballots missing Voter ID.

According to the Pulaski County Election Commission it had to disallow eight absentee ballots in the runoff because they didn't include identification. 

People file absentee ballots when they are unable to make it to the polls on election day, due to things like disability, travel or other ongoing factors. In the primary runoff. The election commission in Pulaski County received 197 absentee ballots, so those disallowed in the run-off equaled 4 percent. That's compared to 10 percent from the primary election when the commission received over 360 ballots. 

Despite not being required to do so by law, the Pulaski County Election Commission decided to notify absentee voters when their ballots had been thrown out due to no ID. Election officials aren't sure if the low number of disallowed ballots is due to more awareness or smaller voter turnout this time around.

"I would hope the notification process that we did had some role in that, but at the same time it's really hard to draw any type of conclusion from this election considering less than 4 percent of people in the county voted," said Director of Elections Bryan Poe.

Despite the notifications following the primary, three of the eight ballots disallowed in the runoff were from voters who had also failed to provide voter ID during the primary, as well. Poe said the commission will continue sending the ID notifications and hope voters see them and provide ID in the future. 

Election officials are also not sure if this trend of more absentee ballots including ID will continue into the general election. They said it may take a full election cycle to determine how quickly voters will become accustomed to the requirement. 

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