Photo IDs will be allowed for Voting in Georgia

Judge Harold L. Murphy of Federal District Court here ruled that a group of plaintiffs who challenged the law, a coalition that included the American Civil Liberties Union, the N.A.A.C.P. and the League of Women Voters, had not proved that the law placed “an undue or significant burden” on the right to vote.

Passage of the law was one of the first major actions of the newly Republican-led legislature in 2005, and it has been tied up in the courts since then.

Critics say the law will discourage voting, especially among the poor and the elderly. Supporters say it is necessary to prevent voter fraud.

The two sides have had difficulty proving their cases. In hearings, the individual plaintiffs acknowledged that they had the means to obtain photo identification, especially because the legislature had changed the law to make the cards free and easier to acquire. . . .

The argument against IDs has always seemed pretty weak to me. The claim is that the plaintiffs would just need to show that not everyone has a driver's license. There are two problems with this. That doesn't mean that people without driver's licenses voter very much. More importantly, possibly those who vote and who don't currently have some type of Photo ID will now get one. Before they didn't have a reason to get an ID and now they do.



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