“With less than two weeks to go before the July 18 primary, a Superior Court judge on Friday issued a restraining order blocking enforcement of Georgia’s voter ID law,” according to an AP report published by AccessNorthGA.com.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Melvin Westmoreland wrote that “the current statute unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote rather than regulate it and irreparable harm will result if the 2006 Photo ID Act is not enjoined.”
Westmoreland continued, saying that “where the right of suffrage is fixed in the Constitution it cannot be restricted by the legislature, but only by the people through an amendment to the Constitution.”
The report concludes:
Georgia’s Republican-led Legislature first adopted a voter ID law in 2005, but a federal judge blocked its enforcement, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax. Early this year, lawmakers amended the law to make the IDs free and to ensure they are available in each of the state’s 159 counties.
Former Governor Roy Barnes, who argued the case in court on Thursday, “accused the Republican party of cooking up photo ID as a political ploy to suppress the votes of poor, elderly and minority voters who tend to cast Democratic ballots,” according to the AJC.
This is the second time in two years that a Voter ID law has been blocked by a court; with the striking down of this legislation, Westmoreland has once again made it legal not only to use non-photo ID to vote, but also, in the absence of any ID, to “attest to their identity under oath.”
A poll manager from Oconee County responded by saying, “one day they tell me to accept the 6 forms [of ID], then the 17 forms…this is getting old.”