Photo ID Required to Vote

By: Monica Buchanan
By: Monica Buchanan

Legislation that would require people to show photo identification before casting a ballot has triggered a heated debate in the state of Georgia.

Andrew Rumker has seen and voted in his share of elections, each time presenting his driver's license whether the poll worker asked for it or not.

Andrew says, "I think that everybody should have one. Jailbirds that vote, they’re not supposed to be voting, and the crooks and illegal people coming over here, they have no business either."

Nineteen states currently require voters to show identification, but only five of those request photo ID.

Supporters of the bill say requiring photo IDs when voters hit the polls will help cut down on identity theft and voting fraud, but opponents say this is a very scary case of history simply repeating itself.

Leigh Touchton says, "Growing up in the south, we all learn our history that southern states have these old literacy requirements which were just a way to keep black people from voting. Here it is 2005 and we're once again revisiting this issue and giving it a different name."

Opponents fear the bill will disenfranchise minority and elderly votes, a right that's protected in the Constitution.

Touchton adds, "Even if it keeps five percent of the voting population from casting a vote, that's enough to throw an election off."

In an effort to compromise, lawmakers will consider allowing folks without a photo ID to cast provisional ballots, but require them to return within 48 hours with one.

Similar bills are being considered in Indiana and Wisconsin. Georgia lawmakers were scheduled to address the bill in Thursday’s legislative session.


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