Justice Department Clears Georgia Vote ID

Shannon Mccaffrey, AP, June 28, 2006

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday approved rules governing Georgia’s new photo IDs for voters, clearing the way for the State Election Board to decide whether to require them for the July 18 primary.

The rules establish what kinds of documents must be presented to obtain one of the free IDs, as well as where and when they will be distributed. Critics of the law — which mandates that all voters present a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot — are expected to respond by seeking an injunction to block the law.

The Republican-backed law was passed in 2005, but a federal judge blocked enforcement, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax. The state Legislature amended the law early this year to make the IDs free of charge.

Under rules the Election Board adopted last week by a 3-1 vote, anyone needing a voter ID card must provide one or more documents showing date of birth, evidence of being registered to vote, and proof of name and address.

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