News & Politics

GOP Candidate Turned Away at Poll By Voter ID Law He Supports

Asa Hutchinson is an advocate of the Arkansas law that kept him from voting.

Asa Hutchinson, a Republican running for Arkansas Governor, was turned away at the polls when he was unable to provide proper identification. Hutchinson, who won yesterday's Republican primary, strongly supports the Voter ID law that nearly took away his vote. 

Hutchinson's spokesperson Christian Olson informed the AP that the candidate forgot his ID when at the polls in his home town of Bentonville. A staffer was then sent to fetch Hutchinson's ID, and the candidate later voted. 

This is the first statewide election in Arkansas that requires proper photo identification in order to cast a ballot. While a state judge has ruled the law unconstitutional, he has suspended his ruling until after the primary. 

Critics say that voter ID measures will  make it harder for minorities, students, and people from low-income communities to vote. 

The Arkansas law, which was approved last year by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, requires that those intending to vote present approved forms of identification. Voters unable to provide identification at the polls may cast provisional ballots and later make an appeal with local elections officials to proclaim they are too poor to afford an ID. 

Hutchinson, an ex-member of Congress, clinched his party's nomination for Arkansas governor in Tuesday's primary. He defeated Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman.

The Arkansas governor's race is considered one of the most expensive campaigns in the nation.

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is unable to run for re-election because of term limits, Republicans control both chambers of the Legislature.

In addition to being a former Congressman, Hutchinson is the former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, appointed by George W. Bush. 


Cliff Weathers is a former senior editor at AlterNet and served as a deputy editor at Consumer Reports. Twitter @cliffweathers.


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