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Oops! Pro-Voter ID Candidate Turned Away from Polls When He Doesn’t Have ID

An Arkansas GOP candidate running for governor on a pro-voter ID platform made an embarrassing mistake at the polls. He forgot his ID.

According to the Associated Press, an aide was sent to fetch Asa Hutchinson’s photo identification, enabling him to vote in the state’s first real test of voter ID requirements.

Despite the inconvenience that delay caused, his campaign spokesperson Christine Olson called the snafu a “a little bit of an inconvenience” but said it did not change Hutchinson’s views on the new law.

The Arkansas Democratic Party, though, is hoping that Hutchinson may use the error to reconsider his position on voter ID laws once he has time to think about how these inconveniences could impact others.

“We hope Asa’s experience at the polls yesterday will cause him to reevaluate the unnecessary burden the Voter ID law places on senior citizens, students and those serving in the military,” the Democrats said in a statement. “Arkansas’s Voter ID law was ruled unconstitutional and is still under review.”

Others pointed out that Hutchinson’s mistake was only minor for him because he had the time and the privilege to get someone to bring his ID to him, something few state residents have if they found themselves in similar straits.

“Such an episode is an all-too-human reminder of how the law can be an impediment to the franchise. Hutchinson is a successful lawyer with an entourage and the day off to politic. He was going to get a ballot cast yesterday,” Arkansas political blogger Max Brantley pointed out. “The hourly factory worker trying to cast a ballot in the midst of a long commute to work who left his license back at the house? He might have a harder time setting things right. Never mind those who don’t have a valid ID at all and no ready means to get to the county clerk’s office to get one.”

Despite his ID error, Hutchinson ultimately won the GOP primary and will face off against Mike Ross in the general election for Arkansas governor, where it is presumed Hutchinson plans to remain in support of voter ID laws and will check twice next time before he goes to the polls.

Photo Credit: Times Union

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Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.