Wednesday, October 19, 2005
GA's Voter ID Law Blocked In US District Court
I'm surprised, because this law did several things. It did require a photo ID to vote, but it also liberalized the rules for getting an absentee ballot. The law is here (final form signed by governor). Search for Section 59.
Seems like we ought to be willing to believe that voting deserves at least the same protections as buying beer.
Dingo, I'm going to have to read the whole thing. I've only worked my way through two sections, but I was surprised to find some odd arguments from Cathy Cox.
The first discrepancy is that in GA the DMV is open from Tuesday through Saturday, so no one needs to lose wages when applying for an ID. The second is that the photo ids are available for free. There isn't even an income requirement - you just make out an affidavit that you are indigent and then they don't charge. It's up to your conscience only.
So I need to read the whole thing. The absentee ballot issue is complicated. If there is fraud related to a provisional ballot or an absentee ballot the ballot can be pulled out, but if someone else walks in and votes in your name that can't be done, so you lose your vote. Right now there is no way to detect impersonation at the polls, but there is for absentee ballots.
To one extent the law tightened down the absentee ballot voting, and that was for new registratee voting by absentee the very first time. That was in response to incidents of voter fraud.
But I don't know what I think right now. My guess is that there is not going to be an easy answer.
One of the good things that GA is doing is allowing early voting. The decision makes a big issue about having to go to the DMV, but honestly it's harder for a lot of working people to get to the polls on a busy election day, and that's one reason that they opened up absentee balloting and are trying to set up early voting.
But the bill as written doesn't seem to actually do anything to stop the biggest hot spot for potential voter fraud, which is absentee balloting.
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