Georgia Supreme Court dismisses voter ID lawsuit for lack of standing

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Georgia [official website] Monday dismissed a challenge to Georgia's voter ID law [text; JURIST news archive], finding that the plaintiff lacked standing to mount the challenge [opinion, PDF; summary (pg. 4), PDF], without addressing the law itself. The court said that the plaintiff, as a first time Georgia voter, was entitled to use a non-photo ID, such as a copy of a paycheck or utility bill, at the time of filing the case. The court rejected her attempt to amend her complaint when her status later changed, saying that because the original complaint had an incurable jurisdictional defect, "there is no viable document to amend." The court additionally noted that she did have a qualifying government photo ID regardless, in the form of a MARTA [official website] transit pass, and therefore could not be harmed by the voter ID law.

In September, State Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. held that the controversial law was not required under the Georgia constitution [text, PDF] and would disenfranchise otherwise qualified voters [JURIST report], who generally have no use for a state-issued ID [GA Department of Driver Services information]. The law was passed by a Republican majority [JURIST report] in the Georgia legislature, who say it will fight voter fraud. Those against the law say it will likely have a negative impact on the turnout of poor, elderly and minority voters, who statistics show are less likely to have driver's licenses. A federal challenge [JURIST report] to the law is still pending. AP has more.



 

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