Voter ID law struck down…again

In what seems like a never ending cycle, another judge has struck down Georgia’s Voter ID law.

A judge Tuesday struck down as unconsitutional a new Georgia law requiring voters to show photo ID.

State Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. said that the law deprives otherwise qualified voters of the right to cast a ballot and that a photo ID as a condition of voting is not required under the Georgia Constitution.

The case is expected to go to the Georgia Supreme Court before the Nov. 7 general election

15 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Though I’m sure we will hear all about “activist judge” crap, Jackson Bedford is hardly an activist judge. I remember when he came and spoke at several GOP events, not as a Republican, but as a conservative.

  2. pvsys says:

    It seems like this legal hurtle could be overcome if an attorney advocating upholding of this law would argue that the Equal Protection clause is being interfered with because (1) legit voter’s vote are diluted when fraud occurs and (2) common sense would suggest there is arguably more fraud under the current system than there’d be “deprived” voters under the new law.

    This is the same argument which struck a cord with the Supreme Court in the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election. They rejected county-targeted recounting because that would likely increase the votes from those particular counties relative to the rest of the state and because different counties leaned different ways politically, this would disproportionately reward the viewpoints of the particular counties that had recounts and, therefore, would (due to the equal protection clause) violate the right of the citizens in the other counties.

    Of course, arguably, the Equal Protection Clause probably shouldn’t even apply since this was a State judge ruling on a State matter… but we all know how much all those judges LOVE the equal protection clause (for example, in the Bush/Gore matter, there were OTHER legal reasons for ruling in Bush’s favor which were more sound and fundamental… but, of course, Kennedy and O’Connor jumped on that equal protection clause… so why not work that angle in this case!

    –Rob McEwen

  3. ColinATL says:

    Rob, there’s still the fact of no actual controversy, no existing fraud. You can’t claim that the EPC is being violated by dilution from fraudulent votes if there’s no proof of fraudulent votes.

    And for those of you who like to argue fraud as a reason, no Republican has yet to explain what they plan to do about Absentee Ballots and all the fraud there? It’s much easier to fraudulently vote when they send you your ballot in the mail, without oversight by nary a poll worker.

  4. ugavi says:

    There are many parts of the elections process. It begins with registration and goes up to the actually casting of votes and the counting of votes. VoterID and Paper audit trials only address small parts of the process.

    It’s sad that the current SoS fought VoterID instead of doing her constitutional duty to implement legislation that passed as the law of Georgia.

  5. pvsys says:

    >there’s still the fact of no actual controversy, no existing fraud

    Likewise, there is no actual absolute undeniable proof that a future “deprived

  6. atlantaman says:

    Rob-

    I agree with you on a bunch of points. My house has never been robbed, but recently I went out and bought a new alarm system. I didn’t need any proof that it had been robbed, I knew the possiblity exists that it could happen and I wanted to take premptive measures.

    I’m also surprised the Equal Protection Clause has not been utilized for the Southern section of the Voting Rights Act.

  7. Mad Dog says:

    Rob,

    Lengthy post. Nicely thought out.

    Weaknesses: Passing laws seldom prevent crime, polution, child abuse, disease, … and when those types of laws get passed, oh the howling mad dogs barking at the moon because those liberals are social engineering, … again.

    Passing a law that homosexuality cannot exist in Georgia, won’t eradicate homosexuality. Only provide a mechanism for punishing the behavior.

    There is the next weakness. Who has standing to show they have been harmed by voting fraud? If I run for office and I lose by 571 votes out of 600, and I can prove fraud on 15% of the votes, have I been harmed?

    Part of the court rulings in 2000 addressed this to both sides. Neither Gore nor Bush were voters in Florida, only candidates. What standing did the candidates have as voters? None. So how the votes were counted did not violate their ‘rights’ under the VRA.

    If a voter, who casts a secret ballot, can prove their ballot was altered … changed … ignored … discarded … through fraud, wow! EH?

    The amount of fraud or error seldom rises to the control levels imposed on the system.

    I can’t cite fact here. But, voting has never been perfect. It remains much like any other poll. Subject to variations and errors — as well as fraud. The voting error rate was higher in Florida than the margin of victory for Bush in 2000.

    Did we invalidate those state wide results because 18,000 votes were bad? 20,000? 30,000?

    Spoiled votes … fraudulent votes … must be humans involved, eh?

    Do you ever think that both parties, or the two major candidates are equally ‘hurt’ by fraud and error?

    Have we gotten so partisan that we know that only the other side is cheating? (I didn’t really ask that, did I?)

    It would have been better in 2000 for Gore to have taken his lumps like a man. Only the recount(s) as given by state law, if any at all. Gods Above! do we want random events to determine the Presidency?

    I shouldn’t have said that. Gods Above! Do we want voters to know that random events control the Presidency?

    No matter the result of a recount, it could never be an exact accounting for “the will of the people.” (Or some other equally horrible phrase)

  8. pvsys says:

    I’m sure there is fraud on both sides, but (1) many elections being decided on razor thin margins these days and (2) I strongly suspect that the same party which desires that fellons and prisoners be able to vote… and the same party which is quick to find excuses for their own bad behavior which, if done by the other party they’d be screaming about it… THAT party is the one which is more often guilty of fraud.

    –Rob McEwen

  9. Mad Dog says:

    I just registered Joe Mack to vote. False photo ID and all. Republican primary 2007. (Just so you know I’m kidding. Wow.)

    Rob,

    More fraud happens after the ballot is cast than during. The idea that restricting access to the polls makes it more democratic is an oxymoron.

    The greatest fraud happens with all the false promises made during the campaign.

    Razor thin outcomes in elections? Does that mean Republicans are not this huge political machine stamping out the Liberal Race?

    The greatest potential to ‘throw’ an election is by someone with access to the ballots or the machine or the counting method.

    Fix that if you’re worried about razor thin margins.

    If the ship is sinking, stacking the deck chairs and taking inventory ain’t important.

  10. pvsys says:

    I though about this some more and I’d like to add…

    It doesn’t matter which party cheats the most. Even though I think that Dems cheat much more, there are people in ALL parties who will cheat if given the opportunity, especially since it is easily justifiable in a variety of people’s minds who have convinced themselves that the ends justify the means and that their “cause” (pro-abortion, pro-life, “animal rights”, “gay-rights”, US sovereignty, etc.) is the moral high-ground. For example, if an extremist pro-lifer would blow up an abortion clinic and kill an abortionist in the process, do you think such a person’s conscience would have trouble stooping to the level of cheating in the voting booth and voting for multiple people? I think it is obvious that such a person could easily justify cheating at the polls if one of the candidates strongly favored legal abortion. What is cheating to a person willing to murder?

    Therefore, the point is that requiring IDs to vote makes it much harder to cheat when, under the current system, it is actually not hard at all to cheat at voting stations which don’t require IDs.

    –Rob McEwen

  11. pvsys says:

    Mad Dog:

    (1) I agree that things like those easily hackable Diebold machines are a much greater threat… and that situation needs to be fixed ASAP

    http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/videos.html

    (2) But, most of your other arguments are the classic, “this evil is much worse, so why worry about the evil you are trying to fix”… but your logic is flawed because requiring voter IDs will only reduce fraud and will not make any of the other types of fraud you mentioned any worse. In fact, if anything, requiring IDs would probably make it more difficult to artificially add votes after the fact because the raw numbers of voter IDs verified would not match up with the final manipulated tally. So I just reject the premise of your logic… if taken to its conclusion, we should then never do anything type of reform if there are other things still left not reformed… therefore, using this logic, no reform would EVER get done since it is impossibly to implement a reform that fixes everything in one fell swoop!!!

    –Rob McEwen

  12. Mad Dog says:

    Rob,

    Thanks.

    It is a matter of which evil are you worried about.

    Nothing that logical about it. Adding requirements that don’t fix a problem is a problem in its self.

    Currently, we have had more votes cast than registered voters (Ohio 2004).

    When that happens, how many voters, legit, tax paying, church attending, get their vote cast out?

    Using my logic, you fix the big problems first. Not stop reform.

    My logic might not be so good on this, but voter ID as it is being proposed is just style, fluff, and puffery preventing real reform.

    It’s a waste of human energy, tax payer money, and blog space.

    And, we really need to conserve blog space NOW!

  13. RuralDem says:

    Honestly and I’ve told many of my friends on both sides this:

    I support a photo id. However, if the Republicans are so worried about fraud then why loosen the restrictions on absentee ballots? It would seem to me that if there’s a hole in the wall you don’t sit there and make it bigger.

    I think if a photo id requirement becomes law, rural voters need to get every opportunity to register. One thing I noticed, the little photo id bus would come by areas such as mine but it’s kind of hard for the elderly who live in the country (15-20 min away from any courthouse where the photo id parks) and they cannot drive or cannot get a ride on the day when the bus comes.

    People need to be given an adequate amount of time to get their photo id.

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