Redstate Poll Tax defeated again
Georgia Law Requiring Voters to Show Photo ID Is Thrown Out
Judge Says Some Would Be Disenfranchised; State Plans Appeal
By Darryl Fears and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 20, 2006; Page A06
A state judge yesterday rejected a Georgia law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification, writing in his decision, "This cannot be."
Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. said the law, pushed by Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) to fight voter fraud, violates the state constitution because it disenfranchises citizens who are otherwise qualified to vote.
State officials vowed to appeal Bedford's ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court before the Nov. 7 general election.
The timing of the judge's decision could have political ramifications in Washington. The House is set today to vote on legislation that would require voters in 2008 to present a valid photo identification that "could not have been obtained without proof of citizenship."
The bill is part of a package of measures designed to demonstrate a new get-tough attitude on illegal immigration and border security.
"There have been enough reports over the years of voter fraud that it is time to have a picture ID to ensure the integrity of our voting process," House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said yesterday.
Like the Georgia law, the federal legislation would almost certainly be challenged in court. A coalition of interest and civil rights groups, including the NAACP, AARP, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, denounced the bill yesterday, saying it would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority and elderly voters.
Georgia's law was challenged by Rosalind Lake, an elderly black woman who was left partially blind after being nearly electrocuted in her home, is unable to drive and could not easily obtain a voter ID, her attorney said.
The lawyer, former governor Roy Barnes, argued that even though the state offered to deliver an ID to Lake's home, it could not do the same for everyone who is similarly challenged.
"We have a low voter participation," said Barnes, a Democrat. "We're going to make it more difficult?"
In previous elections, Georgians could present any one of 17 types of identification with their names and addresses, including a driver's license, utility bill, bank statement or paycheck.
Perdue and other proponents of the law said it is needed to curtail fraud. They cited an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that said 5,000 dead people were listed as having voted in the eight elections preceding 2000.
But the fraud happened primarily in absentee balloting, Barnes said. Under the new law, absentee voters are not required to show identification.
"This is the most sinister scheme I've ever seen," Barnes said, "and it's going on nationwide."
Poor Redstate Erik. He came up with this really cool way to ensure GOP control of the South, by keeping those filthy negroes from voting, and the courts repeatedly stopped them.
Life must suck for you.
posted by Steve @ 4:48:00 PM