State appeals Voter ID restraining order

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker today filed an emergency appeal of a judge’s order blocking enforcement of the state’s voter photo ID law in next week’s primary elections, according to AccessNorthGA.com.

“We’re pleased it’s moving forward,” Perdue spokesman Dan McLagan said of the appeal. “We can’t for the life of us understand why the Democrats have been so hellbent on making it easier for dead people, felons and illegal immigrants to cast ballots in their primary.”

25 comments

  1. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    What about poor people, old people and people without transportation in rural Ga to get to the elections board?

    I challenge folks on this blog to please provide one documented case where a felon, dead person or illegal immigrant has showed up at a polling place to vote? But a wide open absentee system is a “good idea”? Whatever.

    Just how much will you be willing to pin on illegal immigrants? Sheesh already.

    Our state has a 47th ranking in voter participation and that’s a good year. Most of the time we are 49th and 50th. I blame no one and everyone since GA has been doing voter suppression for 130 years.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    49th and 50th in voter participation?

    49th and 50th in education?

    UGA is deemed to be the “flagship university” in this state.

    MOST of our elected officials have gotten their education at UGA. These are the people who write the laws and implement policy.

    Gee, uhhhh, anyone think there is a correlation there?

  3. Does anyone see the irony that the board of elections are now issuing ids. And yet, they are the same people that verify the identity of voters on election day.

    Simple solution: Same day id issuing on election day.

    I mean, we are basically saying the boards of elections are good enough arbiters on every day of the year to determine your identity — except election day!

  4. Tater Tate says:

    So these poor people can get a ride to the polls, but not to get an id. Give me a break. Hell, I say we go back to only allowing property owners to vote or at least only allow those who pay taxes.

    Come down here mrs altanta do-gooder and I’ll show you people standing in line to vote for a 5th of wiskey.

  5. Loren says:

    While I favor the requirement of a photo ID, I think that Georgia’s biggest mistake has been its insistence that the requirement take effect so quickly. Despite the lack of time to provide free IDs after last week’s reinstatement, there’s still this push to require photo IDs next Tuesday.

    Georgia should have followed the lead of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, which included Jimmy Carter among its members. The Commission came down fully in favor of photo identification, but its proposal was that the requirement would take full effect in 2010. Until then, voters without photo ID would cast provisional ballots that would be subject to signature verification.

  6. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    A few more comments.

    Thank you Mr. Simon, I’ve pointed those rankings out too, and I certainly don’t think they are disconnected from each other…

    There is a ton of inconsistancy in the law. How come a UGA student id works but not Emory or Clark Atlanta? Answer: because UGA is a “state/gov” school. This is stupid.

    They get rides to the polls most likely because their church, local civic organization or some other “do gooder” takes the day off to provide the service.

    Still, where is the proof this has happened? Hello, still looking for that answer.

    Good point Chris.

    Loren, I agree on the carter Baker report, I think we could manage to have id’s before 2010.. if a real effort was actually made. Lawsuits, injunctions and a new story every six months isn’t helping. Plus unless the Voting Rights act is part of the solution the problem remains.

  7. Fiddes says:

    Who who who who are these people who don’t have a photo ID? They’ve never bought a beer or a bottle of liquor or cigarettes? They’ve never rented a video from Blockbuster? They have also evidently never held a job because CLEARLY they have never cashed a check (which requires photo ID if you want money back)! Oh, yeah…and they have never driven a car, either! And airplane travel is CLEARLY out because they have no photo ID and are left weeping silently next to a security gate at Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Oh, the humanity!

    Where are these bank-hating, Blockbuster Video-cursing, non-driving, non-smoking ground-based sober people?

    If it’s such a horror to have people have to show a photo ID to vote, let’s also drop the requirement to show a photo ID when buying a gun…isn’t that also an infringement on poor ‘ol Granny’s 2nd Amendment rights? How can you awful people keep Granny from getting her hands on a glock!!!

  8. Decaturguy says:

    Fiddles,

    You’ve obviously never met a truly poor person. These people do not rent videos, cash checks, drive cars and fly on airplanes. Yet, some of these people vote religiously.

    So far as showing ID to buy booze or cigarettes, if you go to the same store every day to purchase these items, do you really think they need an ID to purchase them? Particularly if you are senior citizen.

  9. GTdem says:

    The problem with the Voter ID law is that it imposes an unequal burden on some voters. (some people already have valid IDs, some don’t)

    If the law required ALL voters to get a new photo ID in order to vote, I think it would go over better. This would mean you don’t get to use your drivers license or student ID, etc. That way there would be only one acceptable form of ID to vote and all voters would have to jump through the same hoops to get it.

    Of course they would have to be free, and the state would have to pick up the tab.

    Any thoughts on this?

  10. Good point Decaturguy. I’m a very young looking 26 years old and I hardly ever get carded for alcohol. I can only imagine how rare it is for a 60 year old.

    To Demonbeck: You must either be Perry McGuire or be a close friend to call into question Thurbert Baker’s timing.

    This lawsuit has been in the works for a while, but there hasn’t been a decision to be appealed. On Friday, a judge issued a ruling. Baker appealed that ruling the next business day. It happens to be 8 days before the election, but the initial ruling was issued only 11 days before. That’s a very quick turnaround considering legal briefs must be read and written.

    But I will put it in terms that maybe McGuire supporters can understand. A Chic-fil-a is shut down on a Friday. Over the weekend, lawyers write briefs appealing the ruling of the local board of health. On Monday they file those motions with the proper authorities.

    Now does it seem so “interesting?”

  11. UGAMatthew says:

    GTdem,
    That still doesn’t address the problem opponents argue: old and underprivileged folks aren’t able to get a ride to acquire the id. Or at least that’s the point boiled down.

    Mrs. Kornstein,
    State issue school ideas are valid because the gov. knows that a student had to present an ample number of accepted forms of identification. It can’t make a blanket assumption about prviate schools.

  12. Demonbeck says:

    No, Chrisishardcore,

    It’s interesting that Thurbert Baker didn’t refusr to file the appeal at all. Clearly, Thurbert did so, knowing that it would become an election issue against him if he didn’t. Remember his refusal to appeal the redistricting case?

  13. Tater Tate says:

    In my neck of the woods they have manecures and talk on cell phones, but pull out their food stamps at the Piggly Wiggly.

    Poor things can’t get no photo id.

  14. benevolus says:

    Chris: “I mean, we are basically saying the boards of elections are good enough arbiters on every day of the year to determine your identity — except election day!” That is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while! Touche!

    Loren, I would like to know why you support a voter ID.
    Also, the Carter-Baker commission suggested a photo ID, if I recall, not because it would discourage fraud, but because it would enhance voter confidence. And of course, that voter confidence is eroded when people say crap like “Democrats want illegal aliens to vote”. I have yet to hear a story about how a photo ID is going to stop an illegal alien from voting. Those guys are the ones who have the fake ID’s already anyway! That would be a voter roll issue, which has nothing to do with an ID card.

    And besides, the Commission was most definitely NOT “fully” in favor of the ID. There was strong dissent among the members. You can look it up.

    And why EVER do away with provisional ballots? Anyone should have a chance to appeal a denial of their right to vote.

    Fiddes- the easiest demographic to visualize who don’t have the ID are elderly, who may also be infirm. They’ve been voting for years- even decades, without this ID, and now they have to find someone to take them somewhere to get a picture that they don’t want taken so that they can do the same thing they’ve been doing all along. It IS a hardship, and it is unecessary because it doesn’t address any problem. There is no voter impersonation fraud in Georgia. The system we have has been working flawlessly as far as that goes. People have just been made to feel that there is a problem so that some can push this idea forward for, presumably, other reasons.

  15. Fiddes says:

    Tater Tate, you are just a rich elitest. Have you no respect for the poor?

    Decaturguy, why add the “l” to my name (grin)?

  16. Fiddes says:

    “Fiddes- the easiest demographic to visualize who don’t have the ID are elderly, who may also be infirm. They’ve been voting for years- even decades, without this ID, and now they have to find someone to take them somewhere to get a picture that they don’t want taken so that they can do the same thing they’ve been doing all along.”

    Forget visualization…WHO IS THIS PERSON OF WHICH YOU SPEAK? And if they are so damn infirm, aren’t they voting by absentee ANYWAY? Oh, let me guess…they can’t afford the stamp to mail in the ballot! Christ!

  17. GTdem says:

    UGAMatthew,

    I agree that it doesn’t address that issue but at least it starts to address the inequity (real or perceived) of allowing some people to use IDs they already have while requiring others to get new ID.

    I think the opponents aren’t just upset that “old and underprivileged folks aren’t able to get a ride to acquire the id.

  18. benevolus says:

    Ah yes, the old “all or nothing approach.”

    As a matter of fact Fiddes, there are more than a few polling places IN senior centers. (Or at least there have been. Maybe that’s been changed too. It would be consistent.)

  19. Demonbeck,

    Thurbert Baker defends the law of Georgia no matter who wrote it. When Republicans challenged the Democratic districts, he defended them all the way to the Supreme Court where it was 1-1 (we won the case about racial percentage of district, lost on 1 person 1 vote).

    If Democrats sue to overturn a Republican plan, he’ll defend those too. Right now, voter ID (in all of its versions) is the law of the state. If it is challenged, Attorney General Baker will defend it.

    I don’t know why that is so hard to comprehend, but if you don’t understand that then I suggest allowing someone who does tell you who to vote for for AG.

  20. Demonbeck says:

    Thurbert Baker, as a Constitutional Officer of this state, does not have to appeal the case whether the Governor tells him to or not. He could have sat on his hands and done nothing if he wanted to.

  21. Loren says:

    Loren, I would like to know why you support a voter ID.

    I assume you mean a photo ID, since I can’t imagine anyone being opposed to voter ID.

    To be brief, I support it because there are substantial benefits to such a requirement, and because it involves negligible extra effort on the part of the voter. There’s no reason a voter shouldn’t be able to acquire a photo ID if given 4 years to do so, particularly with the state’s mobile ID unit.

    Several months, on the other hand, seems a little too quick. Two weeks is not remotely enough time.

    And, since the issues are so often mentioned together, just because I favor photo ID doesn’t mean I also favor the modified absentee ballot laws.

    Also, the Carter-Baker commission suggested a photo ID, if I recall, not because it would discourage fraud, but because it would enhance voter confidence.

    Here’s the exact quote or two from the Commission:

    “The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters.”

    “To ensure that persons presenting themselves at the polling place are the ones on the registration list, the Commission recommends that states require voters to use the REAL ID card, which was mandated in a law signed by the President in May 2005.”

    Fraud was definitely on their radar.

    And of course, that voter confidence is eroded when people say crap like “Democrats want illegal aliens to vote

  22. GetReal says:

    Demonbeck, no offense, but the concept isn’t hard to understand. The Attorney General defends the laws of the state in court, whether they were enacted by Democrats or Republicans.

    When Baker was defending the “Barnes districts,” that was the law of the state. Now he defends the voter id bill because that’s the law of the state. I presume if someone files a lawsuit against Republican drawn district maps, Baker would defend those as well, because they are the law of the state.

    I think the issue you are referring to occured when Perdue tried to get Baker to stop defending the Barnes maps in court at a time when they were still the law. Perdue can’t tell Baker what to do, particularly when he’s telling him not to do the job he was elected to do.

  23. Demonbeck says:

    Exactly my point. Baker does not have to appeal the case, but he is. Lord knows he doesn’t support the idea that he is going to be defending.

    It’s not that tough to figure out.

  24. benevolus says:

    Hi Loren.
    “Substantial benefits” isn’t really an answer, is it? We already suspect that there are substantial benefits- but whose?

    Carter/Baker- We already HAD safeguards! Why do people try to frame this as if anybody could walk in off the street and get a ballot? We have a refined, thorough, successful, and fairly streamlined voter registration process. We have continually refined the poll book situation to the point that we now have electronic poll books at each precinct that should presumably be up to the minute. We have the affadavit, we have the existing acceptable forms of ID.

    Carter/Baker was making suggestions for the whole country, not special instructions for the state of Georgia. There are other states with less stringent requirements. When Carter/Baker says “no safeguards exist” they could not have been referring to Georgia. It’s even possible they weren’t referring to anywhere, just making a statement of principle.

    The relevence of the illegal alien comment is to question the motivation of those who would make such a comment, and to challenge those who agree with them to think a little bit about why they agree. In the absence of any evidence, even theoretical, about how a photo ID would prevent voter impersonation fraud in Georgia, I think it is fair to ask people why they support it.

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