VOTER REGISTRATION: Vote.org condemned a rule disallowing most electronic signatures for voter registration.

Vote.org, a national, nonpartisan voter registration organization, is condemning yesterday’s decision by the State Board of Election Commissioners to disallow most electronic signatures for voter registration.

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A rule approved by the board yesterday said electronic signatures are only accepted on voter registrations forms filled out at state revenue offices or a few other government agencies. Otherwise, the forms will require a “wet signatures,” meaning traditional pen on paper.

Vote.org said the decision would potentially throw existing voter registrations into question.

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“There is no rationale for Arkansas’ shameful decision to change the rules after the fact and potentially invalidate tens of thousands of voter registrations, except to make it harder to register and harder to vote,” Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote.org, said in a press release Wednesday. “What we are seeing in Arkansas is a stark reminder that voter suppression impacts all of us. No voter is safe when state officials abandon the law in the name of voter suppression. These policies are a direct assault on the convenient, secure, and reliable online voter registration options pioneered by Vote.org that so many voters – in Arkansas and beyond – rely upon.”

Vote.org said the decision impacts low-income individuals, noting that only one in five recipients of SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) has access to a printer.

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The organization said it is fighting similar laws in Florida and Georgia and vowed to fight the change in Arkansas.

“We will not stand by and let Arkansas or anyone else strip lawfully registered voters off the rolls without a fight,” Vote.org said.

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