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Following up on a new voter registration rule, the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners invites public comments



Little Rock, Arkansas – Another step was taken by the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners toward approving a new voter registration law that has drawn criticism for potentially increasing voter suppression.

Last month, the board adopted a temporary regulation eliminating electronic signatures and requiring Arkansans to sign documents by hand in order to be eligible to vote.

By inviting public feedback, the procedures on Wednesday set the stage for the next phase of the process to become a permanent norm. Chris Madison, the board director, has stated from the beginning that the goal is to give county clerks and prospective voters greater clarity.

Madison went on to say that the board is willing to collaborate with other groups to find a solution that maintains voter engagement while maintaining uniformity and that the rule change is not an attack on any group that is attempting to register voters.

“The whole process of adopting a rule is to allow the public comment in because, quite frankly, people out in the field are going to have a different perspective than we are,” Madison said.

The group Get Loud Arkansas, led by former state senator Joyce Elliott, is suing the state over the new regulation. Through an e-signature procedure that the state has now outlawed, the group has been assisting Arkansans in registering to vote.

Elliott believes that the remarks made by Arkansans throughout the public comment period will be taken into account by the board.

“The public needs to make sure they participate in those hearings,” she said.

This process’s public feedback period runs from June 14 to July 14. People can sign up to testify on the proposed change at the board meeting on July 11.

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