Story highlights

Proposal would require photo ID to vote

Gov. Mike Beebe said the measure was too expensive

Beebe also said the bill would unnecessarily restrict the right to vote

Numerous legal challenges to voter ID laws; Arizona case before the Supreme Court

(CNN) —  

A bill that would have required voters in Arkansas to produce photo identification before being allowed a ballot was rejected on Monday by the state’s Democratic governor, who said the measure was too expensive and could disenfranchise legal voters.

Gov. Mike Beebe wrote that he thought the bill “unnecessarily restricts and impairs our citizens’ right to vote,” adding the implementation costs would have risen to $300,000.

Beebe’s spokesman Matt DeCample said those costs would come in “establishing and distributing a new ID card as required by the law,” adding the state would be prohibited from charging for the new voter identification cards under the proposed legislation.

Both chambers of Arkansas’ legislature passed the voter ID bill, and could override the governor’s veto with simple majority votes in both the House and Senate.

Legal challenges to state voter regulations are drawing close political and judicial scrutiny. A 2004 Arizona ballot measure requiring proof of citizenship before registering to vote is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.