Georgia governor signs voter photo ID law

[JURIST] Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue [official website] Friday signed into law a bill that would require voters to show photo identification [bill summary] before being allowed to cast ballots. Supporters of the measure say that it will crack down on voter fraud, but opponents say that the law unfairly targets the elderly, the poor and minorities, groups most likely not to have photo identification. Previously, registered voters only needed to presented a Social Security card or other non-photo ID in order to vote. Friday's signing of the bill prompted most black lawmakers to walk out of the state Capitol and the ACLU of Georgia has said that it is considering filing a lawsuit to challenge the law. The ACLU of Georgia outlines its objections to the bill in a recent letter to the governor [PDF text] asking Perdue to veto the bill. The photo ID requirement will not take effect until the law receives approval from the Department of Justice. Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Georgia, and other states with a history of suppressing minority votes, must submit changes in voting requirements to the DOJ to ensure that change does not have a discriminatory purpose or effect. AP has more. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has local coverage [free registration required].

 

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