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ACLU, Georgia spar over voter ID card fees

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union charged Friday that Georgia had raised the fees for its new controversial voter ID cards [GA Department of Driver Services information] without notice to the US Justice Department as required under federal law. The office of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue [official website] denied the allegation, saying that it had submitted the notice of the fee hike to the DOJ as part of a package of information it filed with Washington when the legislation requiring a state photo ID for voters was initially proposed. A spokesman also noted that the fees - $20 for five-year ID cards and $35 for 10-year cards - would be waived for poor residents. The ACLU countered that the Justice Department had only approved a $10 fee for a four-year card, and that the fee waiver procedure was elaborate and would discourage potential applicants from getting their cards, resulting in their disenfranchisement. Civil liberties groups have assailed the Georgia law [civilrights.org press release] signed by Governor Purdue [JURIST report] in April; the federal Voting Rights Act [US DOJ backgrounder] requires Georgia and other states with records of racial discrimination in voting to get federal approval for voting law changes. The Justice Department approved the Georgia voter ID law [JURIST report] in late August. The NAACP has already annouced that it will launch a court challenge [press release]. AP has more.

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