August 1, 2007
ATLANTA (AP) - Secretary of State Karen Handel says a huge education effort will take place over the next few weeks to advise Georgia voters that they will be required to show a photo ID during special elections next month.
At least 22 of Georgia's 159 counties are scheduled to hold special elections on September 18th for local seats. Handel said yesterday that the outreach will begin in those counties with letters to 77,000 registered voters who lack either a driver's license or a non-driver photo ID.
She said the state will eventually mail out letters outlining the new requirements to more than a million registered voters in the 22 counties. The Legislature provided $500,000 for voter ID education efforts in the fiscal year 2008 budget. Handel said the effort will ultimately include public service announcements and possibly notices placed in utility bills.
She also plans to tour the affected counties speaking to community groups about the changes. A lawyer challenging the photo ID law in federal court said he will ask a judge to block it yet again.
The state Supreme Court threw out a similar lawsuit -- ruling that the plaintiff lacked legal standing because she could not prove she had been harmed by the law. The justices did not address the issue of whether the law was constitutionally valid.