Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 20, 2024

Arkansas High Court Upholds 2021 Election Laws

The Arkansas Supreme Court has reversed a prior ruling that had challenged the state's recent election laws. The court's decision reaffirms the constitutionality of four election laws enacted in 2021.

In a case brought by the League of Women Voters of Arkansas, the state's highest court overruled a lower court's finding that had initially deemed the laws unconstitutional. The laws, established by the state Legislature, were criticized for potentially restricting voting access but upheld as measures to ensure election integrity.

According to Arkansas Advocate, the lawsuit specifically targeted provisions including a photo ID requirement for provisional ballots, restrictions on proximity to polling locations, a mandate for signature verification on absentee ballots, and a shortened deadline for absentee ballot delivery.

The plaintiffs argued that these laws would disproportionately affect eligible voters, making it more difficult for them to participate in elections.

The Majority Opinion Clarifies Legal Standpoints

Associate Justice Cody Hiland, writing for the majority, emphasized that the laws align with the Arkansas Constitution. His opinion highlighted that while voting is a fundamental right, specific voting methods, such as absentee voting, do not hold the same status across judicial interpretations.

According to Justice Hiland, the rigorous scrutiny applied by the lower court was misplaced. The state Supreme Court concluded that the challenged acts did not violate equal protection principles as they are "facially neutral," without evidence of intended or actual discriminatory effects.

The defense by the state, represented by Secretary of State John Thurston and the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners, argued that the regulations were necessary to maintain public trust in electoral outcomes. This perspective was affirmed by Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, who lauded the ruling as a win for both voter security and the integrity of state elections.

Opposing Views on Voter Accessibility

Conversely, Bonnie Miller, President of the League of Women Voters of Arkansas, expressed deep disappointment with the court's decision.

She detailed the practical challenges these laws could pose, particularly for older voters and residents in rural areas, citing issues with signature matching and restricted assistance at polling stations.

The discourse on voter rights in Arkansas continues as the state navigates evolving electoral processes. One recent development is the allowance for electronic signatures on voter registration applications at certain state agencies. This rule, effective May 4 and set for 120 days, aims to simplify the registration process.

The decision has sparked a broad spectrum of reactions, highlighting the ongoing national debate over voter regulation and its implications for electoral participation and fairness.

Both proponents and critics of the laws remain steadfast in their commitment to shaping Arkansas's electoral landscape, with ongoing efforts to interpret and potentially challenge the court's latest ruling.


The Arkansas Supreme Court's ruling has reaffirmed the state's 2021 election laws, supporting measures intended to secure electoral processes while drawing criticism for potentially limiting voter access. As legal and civic leaders continue to assess the impact of these laws, the balance between election security and voter accessibility remains a central issue in Arkansas's democratic process.

Author Image

About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
© 2024 - American Tribune - All rights reserved
Privacy Policy