True Motivation For Voter ID Bill Revealed

Well it appears that those who told us that the Voter ID bill was not racially motivated were big, fat liars. Word comes today that Rep. Sue Burmeister told the Justice Department that in her district if blacks “are not paid to vote, they don’t go to the polls,” and, thus, this is the reason for the Voter ID bill.

Of course, most of us who were not in complete denial realized that the motivation behind the Voter ID bill was Republican distrust of black voters. However, until Burmeister’s comments were revealed, no Republican would publically admit it.

It was also revealed that officials from the Justice Department did not want to approve the legislation but that Attorney General Gonzales overruled them.

With comments like this from the lead sponsor of the legislation, I am pronouncing the Voter ID bill dead. No judge is going to approve this law when with the comments from Burmeister, the motivation for the law is as clear as day. The motivation was race and that is Constitutionally impermissible. Further, Burmeister told the Justice Department that there were to be drivers license offices in every county in the state and at Kroger stores. This is completely untrue.

Those of you who support the Voter ID bill can thank Rep. Burmeister for her comments. Not only will the Voter ID bill die, but the Voting Rights Act will probably be extended as well.


  1. Tater Tate says:

    All I can say to your comments and interpretation is bull sh__.

    Knowing history in Georgia, I don’t know how any intelligent person can deny voter fraud occurs in Georgia and that this is needed. The sad reality is that because Georgia has been a single party state until just recently, most voter fraud has been at the hands of democrats.

    You don’t like this bill because it cleans things up and prevents that from happening. I don’t agree with Burmeister’s comments, if in fact they are her true comments, but the reality is blacks have been used in voter fraud efforts. There is no denying that. That doesn’t make this law racist. What democrats have done using blacks is the real racism.

    In my neck of the woods, this bill is needed and is only a start. I hope they don’t give up.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Decaturguy…what IF it is true what Sue Bermeister was saying? Chalres Walker is known/was known for playing fast and loose with his businesses, money, and politics, and was one of the dirtiest campaigners EVER in this state…laundering state money through his companies in order to payout to the black voters to go vote in his district would be illegal, would it not?

  3. Silence says:

    Good point, Bill, and I’ve been told of specific instances when Walker and his people actually exchanged bottles of Jim Beam or cigarrettes for votes. It’s not just a Democrat problem, though, the voter fraud that Nevada is famous for was instigated by the Republicans out there…it’s ridiculous to say Republicans are exempt from cheating, as well.

  4. Elliott says:

    I think the next obvious question about all this is what did the I think the next obvious question about all this is what did the Perdue administration knew about Burmeister’s comments and the justice department proceedings as a whole and when did they know it. Complicity in such racist legislation, even tacitly, is unconscionable.

    Also, how could even a draft of the justice department memo include information that you could get id cards at Kroger??? That’s just ridiculous. Such poor research would not fly even in a grade school book report. It takes two minutes to find out more accurate information online – just check out the state webpage.

  5. Bill, Tate, et al, I don’t think Charles Walker and Segregation Sue’s districts overlap 🙂

    I would be impressed if just for once, someone could do the following:




    Please, no second hand “I’ve heard” or “everybody knows” “evidence”. And, no Dodge County fraud stories that have everything to do with complicit behavior from elections officials and NOTHING TO DO with id’s. Similarly, don’t talk about fraudulent applications that some registrar got and threw out.

    That is what I predict this thing will come down to. On the one hand, the courts will weigh statements like Burmeister’s, and on the other hand, they will see no evidence that the “widespread fraud” that this bill sets out to prevent exists. And they will conclude that the methods behind the passage of the bill were implemented in a way that makes it harder for some citizens to vote. Showing an ID is a fine principle and one the Carter-Baker commission recommends the country as a whole work towards, but if eligible voters don’t yet have an ID, which believe it or not some do not, the time frame and means of obtaining one set out in this bill are too stringent.

    That’s why federal judges have agreed so far and why 4/5 non political hacks at the justice department who do this thing for a living also agreed.

  6. 4ofspades says:

    Why not just tweak the legislation to make the ID free if you don’t already have one. That makes the percieved poll tax issue go away

  7. Silence says:

    THAT’S HYSTERICAL. That’s what the bill does. Thanks, Spades, that makes a great point. The original bill does that. It provides free IDs for the purpose of voting if you don’t already have one. Does the liberal media print that? Nope. Dan Eggen even misrepresented facts that were included in this deity inspired memo from the DOJ.

  8. 4ofspades says:

    Silence, The orginal bill only does it if you say your indigent. You have to say you cant afford one. Once again it’s a perception issue…

  9. rickday says:

    How dastardly can Professional Republicans be, when their philosophy can corrupt a minority (Gonzales) to ignore the experts and deliberately subjugate a minority (black GA voters)? I am sure it is not because he is a bootlicker, no sir. What you say? W would never have a bootlicker as a man running the Justice Department? Or can we, Mr. Ashcorft?

    Forget the blacks; how about the elderly? I’ve always felt this Voter ID ‘law’ was a ploy by the Democrats to neutralize the over 70 vote in rural areas of the state (a stalwart, yet manipulated-by-fear-voter base of Republcirats everywhere). So you leader-types don’t care for the elderly anymore, huh? They come in all colors and economic backgrounds. And many of them were mighty upset over this law.

    Interesting. In attempting to defend the reprehensible, the posts above follow the classic response pattern of uber-conservatives:

    1. Deny. Attack the messenger. Immediately question motive and fact. (The ‘Limbaugh

  10. GAWire says:

    Usually I would have a lot more to say about this, but I am laughing too hard at that quote to even get my thoughts strait, so I will spare you all.

  11. Silence says:

    I’m laughing with GW…the accidental (I’m sure) neglect of one little “L” made that quote even more laughable…

  12. Decaturguy says:

    Nothing any of you have mentioned makes up for the fact that the motivation behind the lead sponsor of the legislation is that she believes that black people will not vote unless they are paid to vote. That means a racist stereotype was the motivation behind the legislation.

    Further, even if it is true that some people have been paid to vote in the past, how does the legislation requiring photo ID to vote, solve that problem? It not only doesn’t solve it, it does not even address it.

    So you have a piece of legislation that is racially motivated and doesn’t even attempt to solve the problem behind the racially motivated reason for the legislation.


  13. GAWire says:

    If there is really an issue of people – black, white or whatever – not voting unless they are paid . . . well, who cares if the legislation was introduced based on racists sterotypes or whatever – we have MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS on our hands.

  14. GAWire says:

    Forget everything I ever said about democracy, ideals, values, campaigning, plans, etc. Now that votes are apparently going out to the highest bidders, all we need to do is focus on raising and distributing more funds.

  15. In the car today, I was a little upset that I called her Segregation Sue instead of Slavemaster Sue or some other name. On another topic, I have an idea, if you don’t have an ID, how about you can show at the polls the same documents you would show to get an ID at the DMV?

  16. GaWire, you are right. If that is actually happening, it is a problem that this bill won’t really address. For instance, there are a ton of people on the voter rolls who never bother to show up yet they are legitimate voters. Someone could take the list and give them a phone call and say would you vote if I paid you $5?

    Clearly you can make up your own example, but someone could be paying people to vote (or vote a certain way) and those people could be perfectly legitimate, ID holding registered voters. So even the specific example of voter fraud that Burmeister points to is not addressed directly (or really even at all) by her bill. The rhetoric on this one is getting more and more divorced from reality with every passing day.

  17. I was just reading the WaPo story on this and came accross something interesting. On page 6 of the memos, in the third paragraph it says the following:

    “Senator Cecil Station (W), who authored the parallel Senate bill, supports preclearance and provided a letter mirroring the arguments made by Rep. Burmeister.

    Does anybody have this letter? Erick?

  18. Bill Simon says: were in a “car” again? How many times does that make it this month that you were driving an environment-unfriendly, oil-consuming heap of metal and rubber?

  19. JSMillican says:

    Gentlemen, here you are: I apologize for the poor formatting.

    I. Rational behind substantive provisions in legislation
    a. Preservation of voting integrity through prevention of future problems
    i. Mississippi
    1. The Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS) Saturday, March 29, 2003: “I have people come up complaining about it, they come up to vote and somebody’s already voted for them. It happens almost every election,

  20. Ben King says:

    I’d just like to second Chris’s call for actual evidence. I said the same thing when this discussion went on last time, but I don’t think anyone ever could show me anything. The ‘dead people voting’ thing is like political urban legend. What county? When?

    Still, no one has addressed the fact that the bill makes absentee ballots an easier route to fraud.

    Can we at least point out that a rational person would not think that black voter have to be paid to vote? I’m sure that’s what MLK et alia were fighting for, the right to be paid to vote. Can we at least point out that this is a totally unsupported racial stereotype?

    Also, Burmeister’s district has 17% Black VAP. Is she really that worried? Furthermore, NO ONE EVEN RAN AGAINST HER IN THE GENERAL ELECTION OR THE PRIMARY in 2004. What opportunity did anyone have to pay people to vote against her? In 2002, she won with 58% of the vote. What, is she upset she didn’t get 60%? What is she complaining about?

  21. Silence says:

    It’s interesting to note that SB knows she won’t be running again, as she and her family are moving out of the state, and she’s “retiring” after this legislative session. She should be flogged.

    Staton’s analysis seems to have a pretty good load of facts and figures, though that’s alot of info to process…is that what you were looking for, Chris?

  22. Bill Simon says:

    And Ben…there are some of what appears to be documented facts of “voter fraud” in the letter faithfully transcribed by Seth Millican 3 clicks north of this message I’m writing.

  23. Wow, sounds like Mississippi could use this law, but still no Georgia evidence. And I don’t know how showing a photo ID on election day is going to prevent people from filing false registration applications months in advance, especially when election officials already do a good job of weeding out the falsified ones.

    I’m sure 80% of Georgians probably also think tort and bankruptcy reform are good ideas until they happen to be in the unfortunate situation of being a victim of malpractice or having to file for bankruptcy. Public opinion polls when the public has a limited understanding of the issue are pretty worthless and should never be used as evidence in a case that raises issues such as these.

    On a Mississippi related note: I’ve done some consulting work for a Democratic candidate in that state. They don’t even have a state maintained voterfile, so no wonder they are so susceptible to fraud. Our SoS has done a good job modernizing our system so that it is easy for poll workers to verify identities and prevent unqualified voters from getting the ballot.

  24. JSMillican says:


    So, is it wrong at principle, or not? Is it ok to do it Mississippi, or is wrong across the board? It sounds as though Democrats from the very beginning have been making an argument on so called “principle,” and your statement seems to imply it’s simply for political posturing. Which is it? And I know the formatting is difficult to read through, I apologize for that, but still, if you’ll read closely, there ARE documented cases of fraud. Your newspaper, the AJC, documented 5,412 cases of dead people voting over a 10 year period. That’s an approximate average of 541 (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and round down) dead people voting per election cycle. In 1998, one year subsequent to the original voter ID requirement (which, incidentally, seemed to be morally and legally ok), Senator Jeff Mullis lost an election to Sonny Huggins when 151 votes were accidentally “lost” then “discovered.” Tell me that doesn’t smell like a fish.

  25. GAWire says:

    >>”””I’m sure that’s what MLK et alia were fighting for, the right to be paid to vote. “””

    If THAT is what they were fighting for, and the results are that people won’t vote unless paid, then I am starting to rethink a lot of things . . .

    BTW, I am still laughing at that quote!

  26. Tater Tate says:

    Loads of evidence and the dems have been guilty in GA. I’ll say it, yes they have manipulated poor African Americans and committed voter fraud. Not every one and not every where, but they are guilty and that’s why they are screaming. This bill makes it harder to commit fraud. Period, end of sentence.

  27. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Ben King…as for your question about the “urban legend” of dead people voting…Having once taken Charles Bullock’s exceptional Southern Politics course, I’ll point out one example of “where and when” for you, that many people consider an “urban legend” – I’m sure there are others that are more relevant and current, but this is still a case (albeit old one) of voter fraud in the greatest degree:

    Telfair County, November 1946 – leading to Herman Talmadge becoming Governor of Georgia (certain ballets in Telfair Co. had gone “uncounted”…just happened that all the ballots were in the same handwriting, the voters had been kind enough to vote in alphabetical order, and some of the voters participated in the “get out the vote” movement of that year, by getting out of their graves, evidently, and showing up to cast their ballet for native son “Hummon”)

    Now, I personally am in favor of the voter id bill, however I must admit it’s always kind of strange to see statistics (like those mentioned by JSMillican) that come from fairly well known GOP supporters…however, they may indeed by entirely accurate, I’m just suggesting that I always have hesitation when I see info from people with clear ties to one side or the other.

  28. Ben King says:

    Bill, in my defense, that long ass post just before mine was actually not there when I wrote my post.

    That post still doesn’t really prove anything. So you have a lot of suspicion and anecdotal tales from MS, which really has no bearing on GA, which Chris has pointed out.

    As for your “evidence” – You have an example of Fulton County officials doing a very good job of weeding out bad applications – actually proof that there isn’t really a problem. and still, like Chris said, nothing that has to do with identification problems. Plus, this all dealt with applications. What does this have to do with showing an ID when you vote? Where exactly are people voting that aren’t who they say they are?

    Also, previous Georgia law did require more than just saying you were who you said you were – it required that you present the same forms of identification which are required to obtain a photo ID. If these forms of ID are enough to get a photo ID, why aren’t they good enough to vote?

    JS – can you show me that AJC article about dead people voting? I’m not challening it, I’d just like to actually read it.

    Double Dawg – 1946?? surely you can do better than 1946. And do you really think I’m going to defend Talmadge, and the corrupt system that existed in GA prior to the civil rights movement? Its nice to know that the Ga GOP is working on fixing problems that happened in 1946.

  29. JSMillican says:

    Ben, the article is stuck in Stacks, and I was too cheap to buy a pass :-D, so I just had the author email it to me. It was written by Jim Wooten, November 19, 2000. I can try to track it down if you’d like for me to get you a link,

  30. Ben King says:

    JSM, I was able to rack down the article on newsbank, which unfortunately is an access-restricted site. However, the relavent quote, from wooten’s op-ed:

    >”Georgia votes dead people. We know that. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV, simply by matching state death and voting records, found 15,000 dead people on active voting lists — and 5,412 who had cast ballots from the grave.”

    The article that _wooten_ is referring to is actually a Nov. 6, 2000 article by Jingle Davis

    >”An analysis matching names and dates of births, and addresses and Social Security numbers where available, and discarding matches with slight inconsistencies, show the actual number of ballots cast by the dead is fairly small — 5,412 in the past 20 years”

    Other pertinent information – the SOS set up the statewide database in 95, I believe.

    1. Why didn’t the GOP run a similar match for ’04? If that hack Wooten can do it, I’m sure Sue Burmeister could get someone to. It would been helpful to present to DOJ to prove that this law was needed, at least.

    2. It seems like a better management of the voter database would take care of this problem. And in fact, may have the last 4 years. We don’t know, since no one did a follow up study.

    3. So you have 15 years of county-controlled paper registration records, and 5 years of statewide electronic records, and you get 270 a year. Out of 3.3 million actual voters in 04 (since its the most convenient number) – 0.000081% of a margin. Any elections in the last 20 years that have that were that close? How many partisan state senate or house seats were even that close (and with that we are assuming that this all happened in one district)?

    4. Finally, for more clarity, lets assume that your example of Forsyth County is ‘normal’ (which your post admitted it is far from, and that statewide you’d see higher numbers of people without an ID). But assuming that it is, 75 out of 55,000 voters did not ahve an ID. For the 3.3 million people who voted in 04, that would mean that the voter ID bill will would have disenfranchised 4,500 that year alone. And that is if all counties were as affluent as Forsyth.

    Congratulations, you’ve now created a bigger problem than you solved.

    I’m all for making sure dead people don’t vote. Which is why I’d support something like requiring that the elections files be cleansed routinely doing the sort of thing that the AJC did (although I feel that this is already done). But this voter ID law is fixing a problem that a) doesn’t really exist and b) is creating a different, bigger, problem.

  31. All:

    If crooked county elections officials are stealing elections and letting dead people vote, they are ALREADY BREAKING THE LAW. How will a new law that says they have to verify ID (which they will break just like they broke all of the other laws) change that?

    I mean, there is already a law that prevents people from keeping false campaign finance records and Bill Stephens has violated it multiple times. In every instance of election fraud mentioned here, it ain’t the law that’s broken, it is the election officials.

  32. HeartofGa says:

    It is one thing to debate the need for or constitutionality of the ID bill. The appropriateness of Sue Burmeister’s comment is another discussion all together. In fact, her comment drops the discourse to such a level that reasonable debate of the actual issue becomes difficult. The validity or lack thereof aside, her comments sterotyped an entire class- black voters. What she risks-and Republicans who fail to denouce her statements risk-is the stereotyping and marginalization of their own party. In the last ten years or so, the Republican party has brilliantly and successfully marginalized Democrats by focusing on the extreme statements by a few of us. For example, there has been a not-so-subtle-labeling of Democrats as God-hating baby killers. Who wants to identify with that? Lately, people like Burmeister, and others, have been providing Democrats with a similar opportunities. I think that her comment came across as racist. Are people really lining up to identify with that? I would suggest that if she had a genuine concern, then there was another, better way to express it. She might have considered simply offering the most-often-absent facts Chris refers to. Instead, she had a “Cynthia McKinney Moment.” In other words, she said something really out of line that made her and her party look bad. Her leadership should denouce her comment, if they have not, and she ought to apologize. I’m not holding my breath.

  33. Ben King says:

    actually, w/ booze, don’t you only have to ask for ID if someone is under 35 or something? or is that just some urban legend I heard growing up?

  34. macongop says:

    No, every resident of the state of Georgia must provide a picture ID when purchasing beer/wine/booze if asked for, even if they are 99 years old. Is it not my right to be able to buy beer if I am 21 or older? Yes, only if I can provide a picture ID to prove it!! Also to purchase cigarettes you must be 18 and be able to provided a picture ID, state law, by the MSA with the Tobacco companies.

  35. Tater Tate says:

    It seems to me that it would be a little harder for dead people to vote if they have to show up with a photo id. I know many expect a bodily resurrection soon, but I think we’d be safe for a while!

    Seriously, I read in a release from Senator Staton’s office yesterday something that I think I have not heard elsewhere. The real law that requires identification for voting was passed in 1997 and that was supported by then assist Sec of State Cathy Cox. The bill this year only reduced the acceptable forms. So was requiring an id in 1997 unconstitutional or racist when the democrats passed it?

    Now we live in a time of identity theft and illegals getting driver’s liscenses and voting problems in recent elections. Doesn’t this just make sense. It makes too much sense to me, so I can only conclude that those who are making so much noise are doing so because something dear to them is being taken away–the ability to cheat.

    Even Carter supported the realid act that is going through DC. It may may our little law seem minor in the end if congress passes a law requiring a photo id to vote. I guess Carter and congress are racists too.

    Tire of this one. It’s just stupid that anyone would have a problem with this.

  36. stephaniemills21 says:

    Okay, so i might be in trouble for this, but considering Burmeisters most recent comments I do not care. Some friends and I wrote this the last day of the session this year after her supporting the 24 hour waiting period bill and all that went along with that. Enjoy or flame!

    Ode to Burmeister
    (To the Tune of “on Top of Ole Smokey”)

    On top of the capitol
    All covered in Sleaze
    Representative Burmeister, worries about voter ID’s
    She cuts out the blacks
    She cuts out the poor
    Representative Burmeister, what a political wh**e

    She doesn’t care about [email protected]
    She doesn’t care about inc*st
    Because it’s in her family’s very best interest.

    She’s a real right winger
    Always on her knees
    She’s a real right winger
    Move back to Wisconsin please!

  37. waterboy says:

    Gee Steph, you are a real class act….er, I should say that applies to you AND your friends. Nicejob of making an @ss out of yourself.

  38. Melb says:

    I thought it was funny, and it looks like she is moving back to Wisconsin, or somewhere, as long as she leaves GA it doesn’t matter to me.

  39. Melb says:

    Also, illegals voting and being able to vote is ridiculous. You have to have a social security number to vote and they don’t and say that they did then they would have a drivers license too so it wouldn’t affect them even if it was a real problem, which it is not. I heard Hendrick say that too and it is just a new spin on the debate, to try and legitimate your arguments again, which it is not working by the way. Illegal immigrants are not the villians you paint them to be and people are smart enough to know that. Republicans can’t even name voter fraud in GA that is going on and I like to see how they are going to prove illegals are voting. Just face it your bill was wrong.

  40. Kyzmet says:

    After all this time that I’ve been voting b/c it was a constitutional right and a privilege denied to my forefathers, now I find out I was supposed to be getting paid! Who was sending out checks because I didn’t get mine. Were all minorities getting paid or just African Americans? How do the Mexicans feel about this? Did Asians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Thais, or any other minority get paid to vote? If not, why not? Why not do the same comprehensive study on all other non-whites as was done on the voting habits of African Americans. There was a study done, right? Someone collected facts, got some evidence, or did even a survey, right? I mean Sen. Burmeister made the comment that she made because she obviously had some evidence to back it up. She probably just didn’t have it on her. I guess she didn’t like being a senator too much because when her term is over that’s it for her.

    I truly believe in my heart that this is the greatest nation in the world, but time and time again some idiot tries to prove me wrong. I am truly shamed in this global community that we live in now. Did she not realize that as soon as she uttered those very words that everyone would know about it or have access to it? I believe that she knew but did not care. That is what I like to call a Freudian slip. If evidence can be presented that ALL of the blacks in her district get paid to vote, then I’ll apologize. Then again if that’s true that’ll explain why she beat the other person and is a senator.

    In conclusion, be freethinkers and decide for yourself what’s right and true. Don’t get caught up in this democrat/republican fight. People will say anything to remain in office, democrat and republican. It’s obvious to me her comments were racially motivated. Wrong is wrong. I know black people and white people who cheat, steal, lie, manipulate and deceive. Nothing was said about any other race, just the one she has the most contempt for.

  41. pathfinder says:

    SB is the best explanation for why VRA should apply nationally. If Georgia is covered, so should Wisconsin.

  42. Bull Moose says:

    As a Republican, I was very offended by Burmeister’s comments. If I were a Member of the State House of Representatives, I would have come out and condemned her remarks and called for her to apologize immediately.

    Electoral security is not a black or white issue — its about ensuring the integrity of the voting process. I disagreed at the narrow interpretation of the orginal bill as put forth in terms of allowable identification, but felt that the intentions were right. Hearing these racist comments by people like Sue Burmeister made me sick to my stomach. What were her intentions in putting this bill forward?

    The integrity of the electoral process is important for every citizen of Georgia. However, to hide racism through this process is morally reprehensible.

    Notice that not a single House or Senate Member stepped forward to condem Burmeister’s words… That is a shame.

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