Thursday, September 06, 2007

Georgia's Voter ID Law Upheld in Court

The fight to overturn Georgia's Photo Voter ID Law has been raging since it was passed in 2006. Civil rights groups, most notably the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Georgia, have decried the law. In an article on August 23, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that these groups are "claiming that [the photo voter id law] creates an unnecessary extra step for people [to exercise] their right to vote. The groups claim that minorities, the elderly, poor and disabled are especially affected because of the likelihood they either do not possess a valid photo ID or would have difficulty getting a free one provided by the state."

Excerpts from the August 23, 2007 article follow:
[L]awyers for those groups tried to show that the state's program to educate voters on the change - voters previously could show non-photo ID or just sign a statement swearing to their identity - has been insufficient, particularly in targeting the people most likely to lack photo ID. Plaintiff's lawyers also were critical of the state's decision to not target certain groups, such as African-Americans, in their advertising efforts, even though blacks have historically been discriminated against, particularly in the South.

State officials contend they have embarked on a multifaceted campaign that includes mailers, radio advertisements, automated telephone calls, brochures and other means to spread the word about the photo ID requirement before local elections in 23 Georgia counties on September 18, 2007.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs attempted to poke holes in the educational campaign. They presented a literacy expert, Georgia State University professor Sheryl Gowen, who testified that the letters were written on a 12th-grade level, making it difficult for more than half of the state's population to read. That's critical, lawyers contend, because many of the people who lack a photo ID are likely to be less educated, possibly making it difficult for them to comprehend the letter.
On Thursday, September 6, 2007, U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy threw out the lawsuit that challenged Georgia's Photo Voter ID law. In upcoming elections, voters will have to present a photo ID as proof of identity prior to being able to vote. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, "the judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the 2006 law's photo ID requirement unduly burdens the right to vote. The Georgia State Supreme Court this summer dismissed a similar suit filed in Fulton County Superior Court."

Read the entire September 6, 2007 AJC article.

Georgia Photo Voter ID Information

plez sez: a show of hands, how many of you want anyone casting his/her vote for the next President of the United States if he/she cannot read well enough (i.e. too illiterate) to understand instructions written for a 12th-grade student?

OK, i know the civil rights crowd will be all over this one about the disenfranchisement of poor and mostly Black voters. i've heard all of the arguments about the jim crow south with its poll taxes and having to count the number of bubbles in a bar of Ivory soap. understanding ALL of that, how is someone who is literate and knowledgeable enough to register to vote, able to find a way to the polls, and able to competently cast a vote, "unduly burdened" with having to secure and present a photo id when they show up at the polls to vote?

i do not understand the brouhaha over this law, nor how it "turns back the clock" on voting rights. and for that "half" of the state's population that is disenfranchised because they don't are too illiterate to secure a valid photo id... ***expletive removed*** 'em! i can't think of a candidate alive who would realistically be counting on their vote anyway.


LLR said...

What I don’t get is how a lot of folk on the left talk about stolen elections (2000 & 2004) but at the same time they don’t want to have more “accurate” elections. For Christ’s sake, we have over 12 million illegal immigrants in this country that should not be voting.

Now I can understand the BS that they are spouting off, but how is my race going to make me less likely to have an ID> on top of that they talk about the poor, elderly, disable, etc, but most of these folk may be getting gov’t benefits. Well how did they get these benefits w/o an ID. I guess you gotta have one to get gov’t assistance.

I’m calling BS on this one.

The Stepfather of Soul said...

I have generally been in favor of striking down the ID law because I feel that it is being used nefariously, even if the law itself is benign. But you're right - most people don't have difficulty going anywhere else they want to go (and that includes the elderly, etc.), so it won't hurt them to get a photo ID. It may even be helpful for other reasons!

plez... said...

you are beginning to scare me, since we agree on this one.

like you, i don't agree with the "spirit" in which this law was presented (and passed), but in and of itself, i don't have any qualms about requiring a picture ID for those who want to vote.

by the way, i LOVE your blog! i love old soul and R&B music!

LLR said...

you are beginning to scare me, since we agree on this one.
I know…Maybe you can post about guns taxes, etc and then maybe we can disagree on that one….

On a side note, unfortunately I won’t even be able to attend the game this weekend because of a death in my family. I ended up giving the tickets to my aunt and uncle in laws.

Lola Gets said...

The Stepfather worded my own sentiments so eloquently: Hear hear!

The Stepfather of Soul said...

Thanks for the compliments on the blog!

vcthree said...

Look, I'll say this much:

Because I expect shenanigans going to the polls, I always come with my photo ID. So it wouldn't make that much of a difference. All the people making a big deal out of this are the ones who actually care about voting. The people they're making such a fuss over? The vast majority of those folks can't even be bothered to vote in the first place.