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Georgia judge rules voter photo ID law unconstitutional

[JURIST] A Georgia judge held a new Georgia law requiring voters to show ID cards [GA Department of Driver Services information] unconstitutional in a ruling [PDF text] Tuesday. State Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. held that the controversial voter ID law [JURIST news archive] is not required under the Georgia constitution [text] and would disenfranchise otherwise qualified voters. Bedford expressed concern with the burden placed on voters who would have to use photo ID to prove their identity: "Any attempt by the Legislature to require more than what is required by the express language of our Constitution cannot withstand judicial scrutiny."

Civil liberties groups have assailed the Georgia law [civilrights.org press release] signed by Governor Purdue [JURIST report] in April, claiming [JURIST report] that it unduly burdens some Georgian citizens without increasing protections against voter fraud. A US District Judge issued [JURIST report] a preliminary injunction in July, blocking enforcement of the voter ID law [SB 84 materials] until a full trial can be held in a challenge brought by civil rights groups [JURIST report]. The state case is expected to go before the Georgia Supreme Court before the November 7 general elections. AP has more.

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