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Election Commission to File Suit over Absentee Voter Identification

Pulaski County Commissioners have voted to file a lawsuit challenging rules set by the Board of Election Commissioners.

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The Pulaski County Election Commission has decided to sue the state over voter identification rules.

At issue is the amount of time allowed for absentee voters to produce proof of identification if they do not have it at the time their vote is cast.

Under new rules from the State Board of Election Commissioners, absentee voters who do not include a required form of identification when they submit their ballots get extra time to do so after election day.

The Attorney General has said that the Arkansas law as passed by the state legislature does not address giving more time to absentee voters who do not submit identification.

The two county commissioners got together for an emergency meeting Saturday morning.

Yesterday, Pulaski County Attorney Karla Burnett told the State Board of Election Commissioners that she would advice the commission not to follow their new rules concerning absentee ballots.

Burnett says the board cannot create a grace period that is not a part of state law.

Election Commissioner Chris Burks, one of the two remaining Democrats on the commission, says he hopes the rules will be clarified before a vote that is set to take place on March 11th in Pulaski County.

This week a third commissioner, Republican Phil Wyrick, stepped down from the commission in order to run for county judge.

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