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Arkansas voter ID law sponsor running for secretary of state

June 30, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2021, file photo, Rep. Mark Lowery speaks to reporters at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Lowery, the sponsor of Arkansas' voter ID law is challenging the incumbent secretary of state in next year's Republican primary. Lowery announced Wednesday, June 30, 2021, that he'd run against Secretary of State John Thurston for the Republican nomination. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2021, file photo, Rep. Mark Lowery speaks to reporters at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Lowery, the sponsor of Arkansas' voter ID law is challenging the incumbent secretary of state in next year's Republican primary. Lowery announced Wednesday, June 30, 2021, that he'd run against Secretary of State John Thurston for the Republican nomination. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The sponsor of Arkansas’ voter ID law said Wednesday that he would challenge the incumbent secretary of state in next year’s Republican primary.

State Rep. Mark Lowery announced he would oppose Secretary of State John Thurston for the Republican nomination. Thurston was first elected to the post in 2018 and is seeking a new term.

Lowery sponsored a 2017 law that reinstated the state’s requirement that voters show photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot. A previous voter ID law had been struck down by the state Supreme Court, but justices in 2018 upheld Lowery’s revision.

Lowery also sponsored a measure enacted this year that removed the ability of people without identification to cast a ballot if they sign an affidavit affirming their identity.

Lowery has served in the state House since 2013.