Photo ID at Georgia Polls

A law signed by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue requires voters to show photo ID. Some election officials have concerns.

Georgia's voting booths store ballots on handheld cards. Voters may also need photo IDs in hand next time they vote. IDs must be government issued, such as a driver's license. The legislation is aimed at preventing election fraud.

Some poll workers, though, are worried about their voters.

Margie Jones, a Thomas County poll manager, says, "Some of the elderly are the ones that I worry about because maybe they no longer drive and they have no access to a picture ID, so I don't want to turn any of my voters away."

Dana King, also a Thomas County poll manager, says, "A lot of times people, when they, when they get angry, they say, ‘forget it, I don't want to do that, I've never had to do that in the past, and forget it, I just won't vote.’ "

In the past, when voters came to polling locations like the one at Fire Station #2 in Thomasville, they could use up to 17 different versions of identification, but the new law would eliminate many of those options, making election officials nervous of its effects on voter turnout.

Vickie Burnette, Thomas County Elections Superintendent, says, "This will deter voters from voting. A lot of the elderly do not have identifications, they do not have picture ID, they can go and get one from the State Patrol, but I think it will be too complicated for them."

Lawmakers now await final approval of the law. That decision will come from the U.S. Department of Justice. If approved, Georgia would join five other states, including Florida, that require voters to have a photo ID.


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