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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Georgia Poll Tax Law struck down again

Sorry boys, can't have that outside the polling

Judge Blocks Requirement in Georgia for Voter ID

Published: July 8, 2006

ATLANTA, July 7 — For the second time, a judge has blocked a Republican-sponsored effort to require Georgia voters to present government-issued photo identification cards before they can cast a ballot.

The judge, Melvin K. Westmoreland of Fulton County Superior Court, said the requirement violated the State Constitution by placing an undue burden on the fundamental right to vote.

Although the legislature passed the requirement, Judge Westmoreland said, such a change would require citizens to approve an amendment to the State Constitution, which now says only that voters must be 18 years old, mentally competent and state residents.

The judge's temporary restraining order was in response to a legal challenge against the requirement filed by former Gov. Roy E. Barnes, a Democrat. Mr. Barnes argued that the requirement would make it harder for minorities, the elderly and the poor to vote.

State officials immediately vowed to appeal the ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court. Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican who signed the measure into law earlier this year, said it was needed to ensure the integrity of the ballot box.

"The sad fact is that dead people have cast votes in Georgia and — before this law is implemented — there was no way to tell how many deceased voters, felons or even illegal aliens may have been casting ballots in Georgia elections," Mr. Perdue said.

The law also faces a challenge in federal court, where a consortium of voter rights groups have sued on the grounds that it also violates the United States Constitution.

Since it was first passed in March 2005, the voter ID law has whipsawed between the legislature and the courts, with lawmakers struggling to find a way to put the measure into effect without violating federal or state voter protections. Its first version required voters to have a driver's license or other government ID, or to buy a special state card.

That law was struck down in October by a federal judge, who said the requirement that voters buy the card amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax.

Oddly enough, the original idea came from Erik Erikson of Red State.

Poll Tax, voter disenfranchisement, whatever you want to call it, the plot to keep blacks from voting has failed again.

Voter fraud has never been shown to affect any election in Georgia, while the plan to keep poor and black people from the polls has been deemed unconsitutional over and over.

How flagrant was the plot to disenfranchise blacks? Not one of the ID Centers was in Fulton County, you know, Atlanta. Bit of a problem there.

posted by Steve @ 12:18:00 AM

12:18:00 AM

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