GABEO applauds voter ID decision - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GABEO applauds voter ID decision

October 29, 2005

Albany- The League of Women Voters, the NAACP, Common Cause Georgia, and GABEO all feel requiring voters to show ID at the polls won't prevent voter fraud, but will keep some from casting a ballot.

"I know it would have because it's not an easy thing to get people to come and vote," said Mary Young Cummings, former State Representative.

The organizations filed a lawsuit to do away with the state's new photo ID law and say the ruling is a milestone.

"We didn't view that bill as a voter ID bill, we viewed it and called it for just what it was, it's a voter restriction bill it was an attempt to restrict Georgians from voting," said State Representative Winfred Dukes.

The bill would have required voters to show a state drivers license or ID when they head to the polls November 8th. With 35 percent of people over 75 without a drivers license many felt it would keep Georgia's elderly, poor, and black communities from casting a ballot.

"Not only would it have hurt the black community, it would have hurt the elderly population, it would have hurt people in this state who really need to be engaged in the process," said Dukes.

"I think that anything that stops people from voting hurts the black community more because we haven't voted as long and we really don't understand the importance of what we are accomplishing when we vote," said Young-Cummings.

With only 50 percent of the black community casting ballots now, both former and current lawmakers say they want to encourage, not keep people from their patriotic right.

The state of Georgia filed an appeal after a federal judge found Georgia's new photo ID law unconstitutional.

Although the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the measure that would have required ID's for the November elections it is still considering the state's appeal.

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