Sep 22, 2022 - Politics

Fingerprints not feasible for Arkansas voter rolls

Illustration of a hand putting a ballot into a slit at the top of a safe as if it were an ballot box.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Lack of available technology and privacy concerns will prohibit the use of biometrics — like fingerprints or retinal scans — for state voter rolls, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Driving the news: With the midterms a few weeks away, unfounded claims of fraud in the 2020 election continue to contribute to a polarized political landscape across the U.S.

  • Why it matters: Misinformation and a lack of trust in the election system erode democracy.

Context: In the 2021 Arkansas General Assembly, Act 421 authorized lawmakers to study the possibility of ballot tracking to prevent voter fraud.

  • Rep. Stephen Meeks (R-Greenbrier) told the legislative council on Tuesday that technology wasn't at the level to handle a database of potentially 3 million voters.

Yes, and: State director of elections Leslie Bellamy told the council a perception by some that their vote won't be kept secret if biometric data is used may alienate voters.

What's next: It's not immediately clear what other methods may be explored to prevent potential voter fraud.

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