Voter photo ID law blocked by judge - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Voter photo ID law blocked by judge

July 7, 2006

Albany -- A Superior Court Judge issues a restraining order blocking enforcement of Georgia's voter ID law.With less than two weeks before the July 18th primary, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Melvin Westmoreland wrote that the court finds the voter ID law "unduly burdens the fundamental right to vote."

While legislators and Courts continue to battle over the voter requirement, this morning in Dougherty County election workers issued their first photo ID that was requested.

93-year-old retired teacher Margaret Primo's drivers license was expired, and because of a birth date mix-up she could not get a new one in time. "I was upset about it. She said it would take two weeks," Primo said.

Primo wanted to vote absentee Friday, so she called Dougherty County elections supervisor Carolyn Hatcher. "I called here, and I knew I could get help. And I did, feel good now."

Primo brought her required documents and was the first voter in Dougherty County to receive a Photo ID from the elections supervisor's office.

Then she voted.

Absentee voting will continue in Dougherty County at the elections office, but Monday, advanced voting begins at the Albany Civic Center. Any registered voter can vote early for any reason during the advanced voting session, and as of now no photo I-D will be required.

The absentee voting will continue at the Elections office in Dougherty County. Margaret Primo said she is satisfied with her election experience.

Asked if she knew her vote would count, she said, "I hope so."

There is also a federal challenge pending to the state's voter ID law. Arguments in that case are scheduled for Wednesday in U. S. District Court in Rome.

The advanced voting period in Georgia begins July 10th and runs through July 14th. Each county will have an advance voting center open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.  In Albany it's at the Civic Center.

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