The Republican Party of Arkansas rolled out “Operation Vote Arkansas,” an initiative they say will educate voters about the new voter ID law that will go into effect next year.
GOP leaders said the effort will aim to assist those who need to obtain an ID under the law.
Republicans overrode Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of the voter ID bill earlier this week making the divisive issue a law; however, it has a January 2014 start-date to be applied.
When Beebe vetoed the measure he said it was “an expensive solution in search of a problem.” A cost analysis of the bill indicated it would cost about $300,000 to implement. Beebe said in his veto letter of SB 2 that the estimate did not “take into account the ongoing costs that the taxpayers will continue to bear in future years.”
The bill passed both chambers of the legislature largely along party lines.
At a press conference Thursday (April 4), Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb outlined the new program. Webb was joined by the sponsor of the law, State Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, and Secretary of State Mark Martin (R).
“We believe that voter ID legislation will result in even more Arkansans participating in the voting process because it will restore public confidence in our elections and help ensure that they are fair and honest,” Webb said. “The Republican Party of Arkansas wants all eligible Arkansans to participate in our elections because it strengths our state and our party when they do.”
The “Operation Vote Arkansas” plan would:
Educate Arkansans from all corners of the state regarding the new voter ID requirements.
Activate GOP county-level organizations to provide free transportation for any voter who needs help obtaining an ID, regardless of party affiliation.
Revamp the RPA website to include a “Voter Action Center” to obtain information on not only voter ID requirements, but also registering to vote, absentee voting, finding polling locations, and obtaining rides to the polls for voters without transportation.