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Georgia's 'modern day poll tax' stopped by fed court


Good old boy Gov. Sonny Perdue tried to pull a fast one on the voters of his state.

I posted about this bullsh*ttery last month. Georgia wanted to require a driver’s license or an ID card for a citizen to vote. No problem there. However, both of those IDs would be something that you must pay for. That’s a no-no.

The real kicker was that out of 159 counties in Georgia, only 58 are set up to sell these ID cards. That’s real convenient if you’re poor and don’t have transportation. Sonny’s proposal only gives IDs away to those who cannot afford the fee. There’s nothing wrong with requiring an ID to reduce fraud, but it must be free and easily available to everyone.

And the feds shot Sonny down.

In issuing the preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy said the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax because the state is not doing enough to make ID cards available to those who cannot afford them.

The requirement “is most likely to prevent Georgia’s elderly, poor and African-American voters from voting,” Murphy wrote. “For those citizens, the character and magnitude of their injury — the loss of their right to vote — is undeniably demoralizing and extreme.”

So far, the law has been used only for local elections. The injunction could prevent its use during municipal elections Nov. 8.

Voter and civil rights groups sued over the new law, which eliminates the use of other forms of voter identification, such as Social Security cards, birth certificates or utility bills. Supporters, including Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, argued that the measure would help prevent fraud.

A driver’s license with a photo is sufficient under the law. But those who do not have a license must obtain a state ID card, which can cost up to $35. The governor said such cards would be given free to those who cannot afford the fee.

…”We’ll appeal it until the Supreme Court makes a decision. Hopefully by then the president will have a good conservative court up there that understands the will of the people,” said Republican state Sen. Don Balfour.

Hat tip to The BradBlog. Brad’s been all over this.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding