LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The Arkansas Supreme Court handed down rulings today regarding issues proposed for the November ballot. They also upheld the voter ID law.
The state’s highest court upheld Issue 4, which is an amendment to require four licenses to be issued for casino gaming.
This would bring one new casino to Jefferson County and another to Pope Count while expanding gaming in Crittenden County at Southland Racing Corporation, and at Oaklawn in Garland County.
Nate Steel, counsel for Driving Arkansas Forward, released a statement following the court ruling saying, "These decisions clear the way for Arkansas voters to add almost $6 billion to our state’s economy and create 6,000 new jobs through a fair, measured and merit-based expansion of casino gaming. We are grateful the Supreme Court upheld the Attorney General’s certification that Issue 4 is clear and understandable to voters. We are confident Arkansans will vote to keep casino entertainment dollars in our state when they cast their ballots on Nov. 6."
The court also ruled Act 633 was constitutional. This mean, the voter ID law is on the books. The voter ID law is nearly identical to a restriction struck down by the court four years ago.
A state judge earlier this year blocked officials from enforcing the restriction, but justices stayed that ruling and kept the law in place while they considered the case. Opponents of the measure had argued that it circumvents a 2014 ruling striking down a previous voter ID law.
Arkansas officials say the new measure complies with part of the decision that said it needed at least two-thirds approval in both chambers of the Legislature to become law.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the below statement following the Arkansas Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of Act 633. It read, “Successfully defending our Voter ID law is a huge win for everyday Arkansans and our election process,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today’s decision protects the integrity of every voter’s ballot and ensures that your vote cannot be stolen by someone pretending to be you at the polls.”
This article was written in part with information from the Associated Press