Georgia Picture Voter ID law upheld

VOTER ID is one of the most important issues for Mississippi voters this year! – ROM 

Atlanta Journal Constitution

 Georgia’s much-debated photo voter ID law survived a major court challenge Thursday when a federal judge found it did not impose a significant burden on the right to vote.

The ruling upholds Georgia’s law, said to be one of the most restrictive in the country, and clears the way for it to be enforced in the upcoming local elections on Sept. 18. Early voting begins Monday.

“It’s a tremendous victory for Georgia, for our citizens and for the integrity of our elections,” Secretary of State Karen Handel said in a joint press conference with Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Handel promised to continue outreach efforts, which she started this summer, that show voters how they can receive free IDs. This program included 250,000 mailings, hundreds of radio ads and a toll-free hotline.

To date, she said, the state has issued about 3,000 free voter IDs, including 300 since it began the education project in August.

Said Perdue, “Our goal has never been, is not now and never will be to try to keep people from voting.”

Lawyers for groups challenging the law claim it creates an unnecessary step that could prevent minorities, the elderly, the disabled and the poor from going to the polls. But state legislators maintained voter ID is a vital component in the state’s effort to combat voter fraud.

In a 159-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy in Rome, who had previously halted enforcement of the law, lauded the state for its efforts to educate the public about the law.

“Plaintiffs simply have failed to prove that the photo ID requirement unduly or significantly burdens the right to vote,” Murphy wrote.

“On the other hand, preventing voter fraud serves the public interest by ensuring that those individuals who have registered properly to vote are allowed to vote and to have their votes counted in any given election,” the judge said.

Read the whole story at the link below:

State law upheld: Bring photo ID for voting |

Explore posts in the same categories: Election MS 2007, mississippi 2007, Voter Fraud, Voter ID

14 Comments on “Georgia Picture Voter ID law upheld”

  1. Steve Rankin Says:

    Voter ID is also an issue in Kansas, where it passed the Senate but failed in the House (sound familiar?).

    The Georgia ruling will likely be appealed. But the case to watch concerns Indiana’s photo voter ID law, which was upheld by the appeals court. The Indiana Democratic Party and the ACLU have appealed, and the U. S. Supreme Court has not yet said whether it will hear the case.

    The Indiana and Georgia cases, of course, are about existing voter ID laws. No state has ever before been ordered to enact voter ID or party registration, since those items are the legislature’s prerogatives. The likelihood is great that those parts of Judge Allen Pepper’s ruling in the Mississippi Democrats’ lawsuit will be reversed on appeal.

  2. Steve Rankin Says:

    In the post above, I said that “those items are the legislature’s prerogatives.” I should have said that they are the STATE’S prerogatives, since some states allow the enacting of laws through the initiative process.

    Mississippi’s initiative process, to be sure, is for constitutional amendments only.

  3. John Says:

    My name is John and I work on the wiki – a non-partisan wiki reporting project on Congress. I saw that you have been covering Mississippi politics and stories on members of Congress from Mississippi (among other things) and we’d like to put you on our blogroll for that state. Can you email me at SunlightUser2 [at]


  4. Steve Rankin Says:

    This Wall Street Journal editorial mistakenly includes Mississippi in a list of states whose photo voter ID laws have been upheld by courts.

    The Mississippi legislature, of course, has never enacted voter ID, despite efforts going back to 1995.

    U. S. District Judge Allen Pepper, in declaring our state-mandated open primary unconstitutional, also ordered voter ID and party registration. This is the first time a court has ordered a state to enact voter ID or party registration, and both items are among the four appeals to the 5th Circuit in New Orleans.

  5. Steve Rankin Says:

    23 Georgia counties are holding elections today, and voters are required to show photo ID. The Georgia legislature passed photo voter ID in 2006, but litigation has delayed its implementation until this election cycle.

    The government furnishes a free photo ID for any voter who doesn’t have one. The government-issued ID has “For Voting Only,” printed on it, but some Georgians have used these IDs for check-cashing purposes anyway.

    The U. S. Supreme Court will consider whether to hear the Indiana photo voter ID case at its conference next Monday, September 24.

  6. Steve Rankin Says:

    Looks like Georgia’s elections requiring voters to show a photo ID went off without a hitch.

    “Secretary of State Karen Handel said Georgia poll workers have been trained to allow those without photo IDs to cast a provisional ballot. They would then have 48 hours to present a valid ID in order for their vote to count.”

    The losers in the court case involving Georgia’s photo voter ID law have not yet said whether they will appeal. They may be waiting to see whether the U. S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the Indiana photo voter ID case.

  7. Steve Rankin Says:

    This just in… The U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Indiana photo voter ID case.

    In this op-ed, Rick Hasen, a nationally-respected expert in election law, last week gave the reasons that he thought the high court should review the case.

  8. Steve Rankin Says:

    The U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Indiana photo voter ID case. This article is about the effects of the ID law in Indiana. Everywhere that this has been an issue, the arguments are essentially the same.

    In Indiana, anyone who qualifies to vote absentee is not required to show ID.

    There are several ways to circumvent Georgia’s photo voter ID law. The state furnishes a photo ID free to anyone who needs it. The voter can get this ID by simply showing his or her registration application, for which no ID is required.

    Also, Georgia has “on demand” absentee voting, for which no ID is needed.

  9. Steve Rankin Says:

    This Kansas news story is about how the Indiana photo voter ID case before the U. S. Supreme Court may affect the rest of the states. This year the Kansas Senate passed voter ID, but the House blocked it. (Sound familiar?)

    This brief editorial on voter ID from North Dakota is especially interesting, since North Dakota does not have any voter registration whatsoever.

  10. Steve Rankin Says:

    Here’s an article about photo voter ID in Michigan. That state enacted photo voter ID in 1996; however, it has been tied up in litigation, and the Michigan Supreme Court just recently upheld the law. The state will use voter ID for the first time in next month’s elections.

  11. Steve Rankin Says:

    In the photo voter ID case before the U. S. Supreme Court, no less than 23 “friend of the court” briefs have been filed in behalf of those who are challenging the Indiana law.

    The high court will hear arguments in the case early next year and will likely rule in June.

  12. Steve Rankin Says:

    In Virginia, which has voter ID, the ACLU is asking the 134 local voter registrars for materials on voter ID. This relates to complaints the ACLU says it received from last week’s elections.

    Virginia law allows voters who are not carrying an ID to sign an “affirmation of identity” form.

  13. The losers in the court case involving Georgia’s photo voter ID law have not yet said whether they will appeal. They may be waiting to see whether the U. S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the Indiana photo voter ID case. For that they must do the joshua’s law course in gerogia driver education.

  14. […] Bush civil rights division, or at least certain elements of it, which championed a similar law in Georgia over the outraged cries of these same critics. Writing for the majority yesterday, Justice Stevens […]

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