Georgia looks to boost voter verification - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia looks to boost voter verification

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Governor Sonny Perdue is working to strengthen voting verification in the state. He wants to make sure people who register to vote are eligible and are who they say they are.

Voter registrars applaud his actions and say it's important to protect the integrity of our elections process.

Perdue has appointed a special attorney general to work with the Department of Justice to get preclearance for the bills. One would require proof of United States citizenship. The other, would cross check information with state or federal databases.

The office of elections in Dougherty County is quiet for now, but that won't be the case for long. Early voting for the July Primaries starts soon, and the elections year won't wrap up until November. And when the polls open, and people come in to vote, they'll need to make sure to have all their information in check.

Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said, "Just show your identify, say you are who you think you are, you're a citizen, you've got several different forms of ID you can use to prove that and that's it. I think it's good. It's a good check and balance system."

You already have to use a picture ID to vote, if the state gets approval for two election procedures, you'll have to provide some proof of who you are just to register to vote.

Nickerson said, "A lot of cases with the Department of Justice, they don't want to infringe on any particular individual and it's their job to make sure that across the board, everybody is treated equally."

Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson says even when the law about voter Identification went into place, voters were not upset. "We've never had a situation to arise where anyone complained." And she thinks both of these procedures will allow voters to be treated equally, while maintaining the integrity of the elections system.

Any change in voting laws must be approved by the Department of Justice before they are implemented.

States are required to verify the information provided by first time voter registration applicants with information already on file in state or federal databases. Georgia remains the only state not currently complying with that process.

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