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Georgia Voter ID Law

By: Adam Vasallo
By: Adam Vasallo

It has all the makings of a legislative showdown. At stake is Georgia's new voter ID law. The law, supported by many Republican lawmakers, was passed during the 2005 session.

The law allows for only state-issued photo IDs to be accepted at the polls, eliminating the use of IDs such as Social Security cards and birth certificates.

Doug Silvis a supporter, says, "We have a lot of illegal aliens and people that may or may not be qualified voters, and anyone that's got a job or any type of valid citizenship can easily get a government-issued identification card of one type or another."

But while supporters of the law say it will eliminate voter fraud, those who oppose it say it will alienate any entire group of voters.

Debi Fox says, "There would be many elderly affected if they required a photo ID because there's a lot of elderly that don't drive, that don't have passports, and they should not be penalized [from] being able to vote."

Critics of the law say the money needed to buy an ID is the equivalent of a poll tax.

Kathleen J. Vinson, Thomasville Elections Superintendent, says, "Voter ID fraud by showing fraudulent IDs or not showing IDs has not been a problem in Georgia, and I'm always wary of solving problems that don't really have a status as problems."

But for opponents, who are mostly Democrats, the voter ID battle will be a long one because Republicans currently control both chambers of the Georgia Legislature.

Georgia's 2006 General Assembly convenes January 9.


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