Arkansas lawmakers give final OK to ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill, stronger voter ID law


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have sent Gov. Asa Hutchinson legislation that loosens the state’s restrictions on using lethal force in self defense.

The House on Wednesday voted 72 to 23 for the bill, which removes the state’s duty to retreat before using deadly force. The Senate approved the measure last month.

A similar bill stalled in the Legislature two years ago, but the measure this year has moved more easily after groups that opposed it said they were neutral to the latest version.

The governor has not said whether he supports the legislation.

In other legislative news from Little Rock, the Arkansas Senate has sent Gov. Hutchinson legislation making the state’s voter ID law stricter.

The majority-Republican Senate by a 25 to 9 vote approved a bill that will no longer allow people without identification to cast a ballot, even if they sign a statement affirming their identity.

The House approved the measure earlier this month.

Under the state’s current law, a voter who doesn’t present photo identification but signs a statement can cast a provisional ballot that will be counted unless the county election commission finds it invalid.

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