Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

July 12, 2006

Who Wants to Vote In Georgia?

by Brad Warbiany

We’ve got some primary elections coming up here in Georgia, including the only incumbent Republican congressman in the state that’s even facing a battle. In what might be a serious fight, it’s come time to enlist help from all sides.

Thanks to Judge Harold Murphy, Georgia can now enlist the help of people who may not even be legally registered:

The same federal judge who threw out Georgia’s voter ID law last year blocked the state Wednesday from enforcing its revised law during this year’s elections.

The ruling came less than two hours after the Georgia Supreme Court denied the state’s emergency request to overrule a state court order that blocked enforcement of the new photo ID law during next week’s primary elections and any runoffs.

U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy’s ruling, which he delivered verbally from the bench, was much broader, also including the Nov. 7 general elections and any runoffs.

If the rulings stand, Georgia voters will not have to show a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot this year. The state’s primary election — which would have been the first election for which the IDs were required — is scheduled for Tuesday. The general elections are Nov. 7.

Yep. It’s now official. In Georgia, in order to vote, you don’t even have to do anything to prove that you’re actually the person whose name is on the rolls. I’m personally thinking about voting quite a few times on Tuesday, just because I can. After all, I’m originally from Chicago, the land that pioneered the slogan “vote early, vote often”.

Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue and other supporters of the IDs had argued they were needed to prevent election fraud. Civil rights groups challenged the law in both federal and state court, arguing that it discriminated against poor, elderly and rural voters.

Critics have also argued that voter fraud in Georgia stems from absentee ballots, an issue not addressed by the law.

In all reality, I’m not that worried about election fraud. As they point out, there’s a much higher chance that someone’s trying to fix the election by screwing with absentee ballots than by voting multiple times in person. What I am worried about, though, is making voting too easy. I hope that if someone is going to take the time to vote, they’ll actually have some idea what’s going on. At the very least, proof that you’ve thought about voting months in advance to be properly registered is a clue that you might actually try to exercise your civic duty responsibly. Asking that you actually prove your identity falls in the same boat.

We tell people how important it is that they vote. And I think it is important. Like most important things, you value it more if you have to work a little bit to acheive it. I hardly think that things such as registering and having a free photo ID constitute an unreasonable restriction on voting. But if you’re not capable enough to even take care of that, do I really want you picking our next representatives or president?

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Permalink || Comments (5) || Categories: Politics
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  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    Every vote must count! Don’t disenfranchise the illegitimate voter, you White Male!

  • VRB

    Considering the percentage of people who vote, I would not think that they would take voting seriously. Even when they have drives to register voters, not all of those show up on election day. Voters are disenfranchised when politicians are vague.

  • http://www.indiancowboy.net/blog IndianCowboy

    ‘civil rights groups’ worrying about the poor and the elderly makes sense, after all those two groups are the foundation of leftist politics. But people from rural areas? Why would a ‘civil rights group’ be concerned about them?

  • Laurie

    I am 45 years old and I have been voted in every GA election since I was 18. I have always shown my driver’s license when I go to the polls to vote and I had no idea it wasn’t required. Why was I asked to do this when other voters in GA were not. I think everyone should show a photo i.d. when they vote. I don’t understand why that violates anyone’s civil rights. I think the state is violating my rights when they do not ensure that only legal registered voters are voting.

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