Federal judge grants voter ID injunction

Details here.

A federal judge in Rome today issued an order suspending a new state law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls for the upcoming November municipal elections throughout Georgia.

U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy granted the injunction to lawyers for Common Cause of Georgia, the ACLU, the NAACP and other groups who challenged the law that requires Georgians to purchase a state-issued photo identification before voting.

21 comments

  1. buzzbrockway says:

    From the article:

    The plaintiffs, Murphy found, have shown there is a substantial likelihood they will ultimately prevail in showing the photo ID requirement “unduly burdens the right to vote” and “constitutes a poll tax.”

    Murphy, in a 123-page order, said he had great respect for the Georgia Legislature, which passed the law earlier this year. “The court, however, simply has more respect for the Constitution,” Murphy added.

    The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August, saying that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales didn’t object to the state’s voter ID requirement the federal agency’s approval didn’t preclude lawsuits against it.

  2. I think if the legislature had set a better timetable (everyone get photo ID by 2008) there wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem. That said, no one has yet offered any solid factual proof that the number of fraudulent votes prevented would be greater than the number of legitimate voters disenfranchised. Mostly because no one has any proof of substantial fraud being perpetrated via the means of false identity voting.

    Sure, people will point to the Fulton County Elections Division getting a bunch of suspect registrations, but they generally fail to point out that those invalid registrations were thrown off the books way before election day and obviously none of those people were on the rolls to illegaly vote on election day. And false registrations are harldy new to Georgia or the rest of the country, it is just part of the job that Secretary of State’s and county registrars must deal with.

    Perhaps a better law would have been to impose a criminal fine on anyone who knowingly registers a bulk number of false registrations (maybe greater than 10 in order to prevent liability in messing up registration for your family somehow). But then Georgia’s legislature is hardly known for addressing a problem directly and not in a way that can score some political points.

  3. Booray says:

    First, judges find a right to get a gay marriage in the Constitution.

    Now, judges act like there is a right to pretend to be someone you’re not when you go vote.

    We have GOT to get a handle on these crazy judges…

    Booray Bussey

  4. Maybe someone can help me out. I was searching through the archives looking for Booray’s outrage when activist judges threw out redistricting maps passed by the people’s legislature. I still think it’s odd that Georgia’s maps got thrown out for violating a level of deviation that still exists in about a dozen states.

    And yes, before anyone responds, I’m aware that PP wasn’t around then.

  5. Let me weigh in here as somewhat of an expert on Georgia election law & polling places on Election Day.

    HB244 has broad-reaching consequences for Georgians regardless of their skin color because you can live in rural Georgia and be black or white.

    HB244 has broad-reaching consequences for older Georgians who have never had a government issued photo ID because they have never had the need for one.

    As a certified chief poll manager for Fulton County, Georgia, I can tell you from personal experience that I have never EVER seen anyone come into the polls and pretend to be someone that they aren’t just so that they can vote.

    We can’t get people to vote now!

    What makes the Governor and his minions in the Georgia General Assembly think that people would go through all the effort and energy that it takes to steal someone’s ID just to vote, when they can just as easily spend their time filling out the Georgia voter registration form, drop it in the mail, and have their name added to Georgia’s voter registration rolls.

    Voter fraud because of identity theft has never been a problem here in Georgia. This isn’t Chicago where dead people can vote; this is Georgia!

    I’m sorry but everytime I think of that day back in March when the Georgia House and the Georgia Senate limited debate in a deliberative body and voted to restrict access to the polls for Georgia’s voters, it makes me fighting mad because they did it based on a bunch of lies.

    Much like they’re doing with Social Security nationally and the Hope Scholarship locally, these so-called leaders created a false crisis and a false solution to a false problem that never existed in the first place.

    You either stand for full, free, and fair elections without any impediments or restrictions to people going to the ballot box and casting their vote for their preference of candidates, be they Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians or Greens or Independents…

    Or…

    You are a threat to Democracy and a threat to the American way of life.

    It’s that simple for me, so Judge Murphy made the right decision, because I would have hated to turn someone away from the polls on Election Day because they didn’t have a government-issued photo ID.

  6. I’ve worked on both sides of the county at precincts SC29 & SC11 in South Fulton and at precinct SS19 & if my memory serves me correctly, SS22 (which is a retirement home on Roswell Rd) in North Fulton.

  7. Bill Simon says:

    South Fulton precincts are rife with cheaters, Andre, so, if you were a poll manager, perhaps you have not been informed on what is and what is not cheating.

    I know the cheating goes on there because we (the GOP) had poll watchers installed in a lot of those precincts in South Fulton every General Election. And, every general election, there would be multiple instances of cheating, whether it be the poll managers allowing Democrat “slates” to be taped to each voting spot, or multiple voting by one person, the South Fulton Democrtat party operated quite a racketeering operation.

    Now, the very fact of the electronic voting has tamped down on the multiple votes by the same person routine, but it still happens.

    Maybe the particular poll you were manager of didn’t have these things happen, but several polling places DO have this happen and they are amazingly located in South Fulton.

    Coincidentally, South DeKalb also has major problems with cheating happening at the polls. Cynthia McKinney’s “people” love to cheat at stuffing ballots.

  8. Ben King says:

    i’m sure all these instances that you are talking about have been reported, yes?

    really, you can’t just say ‘south fulton precincts are rife with cheaters’ as if it were scripture. if you can show me proof of what you are talking about, of “the South Fulton Democratic party [operating] … a racketerring operation”, I’ll swallow my words. but i want to see some filed reports from your poll watchers before I believe you, cuz right now I think you are full of bull.

    also, (I’m guessing Cobb County) GOP poll watchers in south fulton also seems like it could easily become intimidation. I’m not at all saying that there was any [see, I have no proof so I won’t make such an accusation]. I actually have no reason to believe [and therefore don’t believe] that it ever became that. I’m just pointing out how someone could be equally conspiracy-theory minded and how they could take what you are saying happened.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    Ben, I could call-up witnesses all over the place…some happen to be parked in D.C. at the moment as Bush appointees. But, they, along with several other poll watchers in Fulton County, can document the record.

    There were lots of complaints issued during the election and the poll managers sought to evict these legal observers, even when NO “intimidation” was taking place.

    Before Cathy Cox installed those electronic voting machines, the cheating went on and on. I cannot pull-up documented cases, but I do remember the reports and the precincts which demand a lot of scrutiny are still documented by the Fulton County GOP. I’m not going to divulge their list because, as I said, most of the cheating doesn’t occur anymore.

    BUT, now that this Voter ID bill has been thrown-out, the cheating will come back 10-fold in South Fulton and South DeKalb precincts.

    Perhaps you don’t remember the election of 2000 when Cynthia McKinney rolled-up on a precinct at 7:03 pm on Election Night night with a busload of people she wanted to get through the line. She got a bullhorn out and intimidated the poll manager directly with her threats. Talk about “intimidation.”

    Ben, I don’t know where you from, but, this is not “conspiracy” stuff I’m making-up. These are true events that happened, and, still happen. We just happen to have a bunch of corrupt poll managers that run things like the Dems are still in power. Things like “evidence” that YOU want tends to get covered-up and buried by the poll managers working in conjunction with the Secretary of State’s office.

  10. Ben King says:

    >>But, they, along with several other poll watchers in Fulton County, can document the record.

    All I’m saying is that if they could, did they at the time document it to the proper authorities? and if so, was there ever an AJC article about it?

    >>I’m not going to divulge their list because, as I said, most of the cheating doesn’t occur anymore.

    BUT, now that this Voter ID bill has been thrown-out, the cheating will come back 10-fold in South Fulton and South DeKalb precincts.

    Your logic here doesn’t work. If they don’t occur anymore, how can the voter ID bill being thrown out bring them back? the voter ID bill hasn’t been in effect for an election, so it couldn’t have gotten rid of em. Your argument is that the electronic ballots fixed the problem. the voter ID bill has not impacted them yet.

    And I don’t want to get into McKinney a whole lot, but if she is so good at tampering with stuff, why’d she lose in 02?

  11. Harry says:

    I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with obtaining a photo ID and showing it in order to vote. I suspect there is an ulterior motive. Late on election day when it is determined who hasn’t voted, and with friendly cooperative poll workers to look the other way – that’s when things happen…we know it from the McKinney campaign and others. Don’t say it doesn’t happen. If poll watchers can see that everyone is having to produce positive ID, the “stand in” vote fraud can be eliminated.

  12. Melb says:

    I don’t know about everyone at this site, but when I go to vote it is a bunch of old people standing around and the best job is handing out the stickers. They take their job too serious if you ask me, but never have I gone in and had the impression that some underhanded manipulation was at play with these old people who are trying to do a civic duty. It should be okay to have a photo ID, social security card, or birth certificate, and you should have to make a copy if you want to vote absentee, but it should NOT have to be a government issued photo ID period. I think that a bill or fishing license should not be allowed though. Personally I think Burmeister should go back to Wisconsin or stay home and watch her family.

  13. Harry says:

    Granted fraud only happens in Georgia in a few locations – as Bill Simon mentiond. In a close election it would matter though.

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