FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — President Donald Trump tweeted in support of a federal provision to require nationwide voter ID laws. This came in response to two election security bills that passed through the house. Arkansas state senators spoke in response of the tweet.
“I certainly hope [there’s not widespread voting fraud], but we do know from time to time there’s election fraud,” said Sen. Bart Hester (R). “Anytime we can continue to have more integrity of the system, I think is good and appropriate.”
In Arkansas, there have been three cases of election fraud throughout history, according to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Each case resulted in criminal convictions. Between 2000 and 2010, there were 13 credible cases of in-person voter impersonation, according to Voter Fraud Facts.
The two bills contained a key element that requires candidates, campaign officials and family members to notify the FBI if foreign governments offer assistance. Former special counsel Robert Mueller discovered Russia tampered with the 2016 election.
Trump said “it is all so meaningless” to address election security without adding voter ID provisions to the legislation.
“In-person voter fraud is just a myth,” said Sen. Greg Leding (D). “It just doesn’t happen, but studies do show that voter ID laws do keep legal voters from being able to cast a ballot.”
Trump first alleged widespread voter fraud when he tweeted that millions of people voted illegally in 2016. Proponents of voter ID laws say they strengthen the voting process by eliminating the ability for people to rig the process with multiple ballots. Opponents say the laws target minorities who don’t have cars and have no means of transportation to get an ID.
Most southern states, including Arkansas, have strict ID laws.