Handel defends court decision on voter ID

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel responds to Cynthia Tucker’s recent criticism of the Supreme Court ruling upholding voter IDs:

Tucker accuses Republican-controlled state legislatures of actively attempting to suppress voter turnout among racial minorities. Again, Tucker is not dissuaded by the facts. Over 97,300 more votes were cast in Georgia’s February presidential primary for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates, and a higher percentage of black voters turned out to vote than did white voters.

Fifty-two percent of black women and 43 percent of black men cast ballots in the primary, compared to 45 percent of white women and 45 percent of white men.
Tucker continued, “GOP-dominated state Legislatures, including Georgia’s, have done precious little to change the rules for voting in absentia. That’s because those who request absentee ballots are more likely to vote for Republican candidates, which makes that sort of fraud just fine.”

In the 2008 presidential primaries, Georgia voters requested 24,136 Democratic absentee ballots by mail, compared to 20,944 Republican absentee ballots.

So much for the Republican advantage.

The traditionally liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his majority opinion that Indiana’s photo identification law —- which is in fact stricter than Georgia’s law —- is “justified by the valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process.”


  1. joe says:

    Karen Handel should know that an arguement based on facts will carry no weight with Cynthia Tucker.

  2. Hank Reardan says:

    What I dont understand is there evidence that we need this. When was the last someone was charge with voter fraud?
    I think this is one of those feel good things politicians do but it never makes a difference in the real world. If i am wrong some one please point to any voter fraud cases here in Georgia.

    We need to be taking about fair ballot access here in Georgia. Now that the demoncrats are no longer in power the GOP should do the right thing and open up ballot access.
    People get pissed off we they can not vote but what is the differnce if the powers to be just keep people from running because they do not fit into thier cookie cutter ideas.

  3. Goldwater Conservative says:

    The ruling may be overturned by a different case that provides evidence that a large population of individuals are being disenfranchised. The Indiana suit had a hand full of people identified as being such (disenfranchised).

    This law should have never made it out of the DOJ. It did, because it helps the party that is in power. This little “oh, well the presidential preference primary had more people vote in…” nonsense is exactly what you can expect from an uneducated person trying to describe the effects of policy on elections. Her sample size is one and she is using one variable to measure with. Bravo Ms. Handel…this must be why she dropped out of college, higher math and the non-existence of causality in social sciences must have been too much for her to deal with.

    There are dozens of variables that you can (and should) be added to the equation to determine if the i.d. law disenfranchised anybody. Furthermore, there is much evidence that in Indiana and Florida (Georgia needs another election under it belt yet) have seen a disproportionate growth in voting age population than in voter participation…particularly minorities and the elderly slightly less so.

    Oh…sorry, the laws were not created to disenfranchise anybody based on race…it is a party identification matter. Kudos to those law-makers that took their cues from North Carolina GOPers bent on creating majority-minority districts and winning the 1998 Hunt Supreme Court decision.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    I’m fine with the photo ID requirement in its current form, though Hank was correct in that this was fixing something not broken.

    The legislation was strictly partisan, as evidenced by its simultaneously loosening of absentee ballot requirements—notwithstanding it taking years after the photo ID law for the legislature to likewise make fraudulent absentee ballot a felony.

  5. joe says:

    “The ruling may be overturned by a different case that provides evidence that a large population of individuals are being disenfranchised.”

    Didn’t I read that in the Georgia primaries, there were 450 potential voters without an ID, but that 150 went home and got one? 300 out of 2,000,000 just doesn’t sound like a large population.

  6. Goldwater Conservative says:

    that is not the only population that we are looking at joe.

    hypothetically, anybody over the age of 18 that does not have one of the acceptable ids would qualify. The 600,000 people Cox came up with was based on the number of voting age individuals there are in GA that have not served in the military, gone to college, work for the government and have not been issued drivers licenses or state ids.

    If you do not have the intiative to go out and get one of these ids…you probably are not going to vote anyways. This assumption is irrelevant however.

    The full proof plan would be to mandate that anybody over the age of 18 must obtain a state issued photo id…that would be free of charge (not $15). Give everybody a year to do so. Administratively this would not be difficult, it will cost a bit…but the state is putting the burden on the people and should foot the bill. Furthermore, if an individual is going to waste resources with another court case on the voter id matter…they will be legally at fault for not obtaining their id themselves.

    This is one of my biggest problems with Karen Handel. She is not educated enough in matters of public administration or law to be an effective leader. She can only do as she is told…and she does not do that very well.

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