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Arkansas GOP Candidate Thwarted By Voter ID Law He Supports

Arkansas Republican Gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson had a bit of an embarressment yesterday:

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A Republican candidate for Arkansas governor supports the new voter ID law, but he was left waiting after he forgot his identification.

Spokesman Christian Olson told The Associated Press that Asa Hutchinson forgot his ID when he attempted to vote at the polls in Bentonville on Monday. Olson says a staffer was able to retrieve the ID and bring it to Hutchinson so he could vote.

(…)

Olson said Hutchinson thought the incident was a “little bit of an inconvenience” but still believes the law is necessary.

This election was the first statewide test of Arkansas’s new Voter ID law. I presume that supporters of the measure wish Hutchinson had remembered to bring his identification.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tillman says:

    Olson says a staffer was able to retrieve the ID and bring it to Hutchinson so he could vote.

    It’s a good thing we’re all Constitutionally-mandated to have staffers to find things we misplace so we can exercise our right to vote.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 2

  2. John Peabody says:

    Just gave Jon Stewart five more minutes of riffing on Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. ptfe says:

    @Tillman: Indeed, those very staffers have their own staffers to make sure they can vote. Either it’s staffers all the way down or we need a staffer Ouroboros.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman: My first thought as well. Wonder how he would have felt if he had had to take off early from work, take the bus and 2 transfers, wait 3 hours in line, only to find he had forgotten the ID he only needs once or twice a year?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  5. rudderpedals says:

    Poor Asa. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Tillman says:

    @ptfe: Shucks, we don’t need to worry about the sub-sub-substaffers. Those people are barely human!

    @OzarkHillbilly: Something TPM didn’t mention about this story: did he have to go to the back of the line, or were the pollsters gracious enough at a sparsely-attended primary election to let him just sit there and twiddle his thumbs? Did he leave it in a car, or at his house? I want details so I know how far I can go in my ridicule for his lack of empathy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. Barry says:

    @Tillman: “Something TPM didn’t mention about this story: did he have to go to the back of the line, or were the pollsters gracious enough at a sparsely-attended primary election to let him just sit there and twiddle his thumbs? Did he leave it in a car, or at his house? I want details so I know how far I can go in my ridicule for his lack of empathy. ”

    I’ll lay you a bottle of the good stuff that he was given a chair to sit in, and skipped the line.

    Shame – I’d have love to make him go to the back of the line, and loved it like bacon if it were raining.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  8. bandit says:

    That’s how it’s supposed to work dumbazzes – no ID no vote

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Then there is this 92 year old woman in Texas who can’t get an ID and so cannot vote.
    http://www.wacotrib.com/news/elections/year-old-bellmead-woman-struggles-to-get-voter-id/article_58dba72b-e781-52ca-9787-f0a8234b9430.html
    Why do Republicans, like Bandit and the others, hate America so much?
    And why keep living in a place you hate so much?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’d hardly call this an “embarressment.” The gentleman was caught up by the law he championed, and he handled it quite graciously. He didn’t act like Bill Clinton and the sexual-harassment law he signed, he didn’t act like Jon Corzine and the speeding and seat belt laws, he didn’t act like Barack Obama and the War Powers Act with Libya. He didn’t even pull a “don’t you know who I am” hissy fit.

    He could even have said that he was testing the law, and was pleased with the result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  11. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @C. Clavin: Well yeah, but you won’t be able to convince Bandit and Superdestroyer that the law is wrong from her story. She admitted that she never votes Republican. Ipso facto, she’s ineligible to vote.

    And they keep living here an a valiant (though fruitless) effort to keep you from singlehandedly destroying the country. (As if you didn’t know.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: So you don’t think a Voter ID-promoting politician who forgets to bring his ID to vote is embarrassing in any way? Or that getting a staffer to retrieve it just reinforces all those arguments opponents to Voter ID like to bring up, like how the inconvenience of requiring ID effectively disenfranchises voters?

    That latter one is embarrassing, if not to him, then to proponents of Voter ID laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Based on your history of being proved wrong and coming back for more…I’m not sure you know what embarrassment means .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker:
    I thought it was the weak feckless President that was going to single-handedly destroy the nation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: So you don’t think a Voter ID-promoting politician who forgets to bring his ID to vote is embarrassing in any way? Or that getting a staffer to retrieve it just reinforces all those arguments opponents to Voter ID like to bring up, like how the inconvenience of requiring ID effectively disenfranchises voters?

    I think it’s a little embarrassing to the politician in question, but says nothing about the principle in question. And the pol in question handled his foolishness as best he could.

    What would have been embarrassing would be if he’d acted like a Democrat, such as the examples I cited.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, Cliffy… haven’t you ever heard the saying that “the plural of anecdotes is not data?”

    No, of course you haven’t. Except when it suits your biases, like dismissing all the people who lost their insurance because of ObamaCare.

    There are a multitude of solutions to the situation you described — which was so anomalous that it merited being “news.”

    1) Tweak the law in some way, such as broadening the acceptable documents.

    2) Exempt voters born before, say, 1930, or some other date that would exclude people like Mrs. Barber who might not have issued birth certificates.

    3) Set up a non-profit to cover the costs ($15 plus a “processing fee”) to cover people in her situation.

    On that last one, I’d wager that if only legislators who voted for the bill were solicited for contributions, it would cover all the costs necessary. It’s cheap PR for them to each kick in, say, a hundred bucks each. Texas has 19 Republican State Senators and 95 Republican State Representatives, as well as a Republican Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Assuming no one else kicks in, that’s $11,600 to provide IDs for people like Mrs. Bustler.

    I have no idea what the “processing fee” is, but let’s say that it’s the same cost as the application and the total is $30. Assuming that the non-profit uses 25% in overhead (an appallingly bad rate, but I’m trying to keep the numbers simple for you, plus I’m cheating a little to make the numbers work nicely), that leaves $8,700 for IDs — which would cover 290 Mrs. Butlers.

    Your article says that it has handled 263 cases like Mrs. Butler since 2013.

    So, where’s the problem again, Cliffy? Oh, yeah, it hurts the Democrats’ time-honored tradition of stuffing the ballot box. Can’t have that, can we?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  17. stonetools says:

    I think one of the main reasons why these voter suppression laws will eventually fail is that it will prevent many poor whites from voting-even those likely to vote Republican.
    Back in the day, it was possible to apply the voter suppression schemes in an openly racist way. Thus the white voter was just allowed to vote, whereas the black person trying to vote was just beaten up or asked, “How many bubbles are there in a bar of soap.”
    Nowadays, both the poor white and the poor black voter are likely not to have these hard to get kinds of IDS , or won’t be able to vote during the limited hours that the polls are open. This is going to p!ss off a whole lot of those Appalachian whites who thought that the voter suppression laws were to stop “those people” from voting. I predict a popular backlash against these laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Or Republicans could just stop trying to take voting rights away from the people who don’t vote for them under the guise of an imagined problem. But that wouldn’t accomplish their goal, would it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Oh, yeah, it hurts the Democrats’ time-honored tradition of stuffing the ballot box.

    People voting is not stuffing the ballot box…it’s democracy. Why do you hate America? And why don’t you just leave?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “I think one of the main reasons why these voter suppression laws will eventually fail is that it will prevent many poor whites from voting-even those likely to vote Republican.
    Back in the day, it was possible to apply the voter suppression schemes in an openly racist way. Thus the white voter was just allowed to vote, whereas the black person trying to vote was just beaten up or asked, “How many bubbles are there in a bar of soap.””

    I think that that will still happen, in many places. Who’s checking to see if people check ID’s?
    Also, some of them already do that – in Wisconsin, the Koch employee Walker quite selectively closed DMV’s. Somebody posted hours where certain DMV’s were open one day a month.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Cliffy, you don’t have to convince anyone how stupid you are and you can’t do math. It’s self evident.

    But you wanna talk depriving people of their vote? 1 fraudulent vote cancels out one legal vote. Every single illegal vote deprives one person of their right to vote by nullifying their ballot.

    But since most illegal votes go for Democrats, that’s mainly Republican voters who are disenfranchised, so you don’t care about them, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You’re still harping about an imaginary problem.
    Get off your mom’s computer and go play with your imaginary friend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But since most illegal votes go for Democrats, that’s mainly Republican voters who are disenfranchised, so you don’t care about them, of course.

    You keep saying this but you have never produced any evidence. Your imaginings are not evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. DRE says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There are a multitude of solutions to the situation you described

    If only they would think to include them before they pass Voter ID laws. Unfortunately that would interfere with the actual purpose of the laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @DRE: If only they would think to include them before they pass Voter ID laws. Unfortunately that would interfere with the actual purpose of the laws.

    Why bother? Just rewrite the laws by fiat, on the fly, as problems are discovered. Just declare that the law now means what we want it to mean now, never mind how it’s written.

    It’s called “the ObamaCare Precedent.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: Oh, look! Just recently a Florida TV station committed an Act of Real Journalism and found 94 illegal voters in a fairly small area, by a very limited method.

    To use the kind of extrapolation used in the death penalty thread, that would indicate a very strong likelihood of over 6,000 illegal voters in Florida. Which means that over 6,000 American citizens being de facto deprived of their right to vote (by having their votes nullified).

    That’s 6,000 in Florida disenfranchised by LACK of voter ID, vs. 263 in Texas because of voter ID.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0