Bring that Picture ID to the voting booth - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bring that Picture ID to the voting booth

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January 10, 2008

Albany - In less than a month, you'll have a chance to vote in the Presidential primary. But when you hit the voting booth, don't forget to bring a picture ID. It's now required by law. If you don't have one, there are ways to get one free of charge.

It's a right Willie Emerson hasn't always been afforded. "I remember when we couldn't vote, so anytime they say anything about voting, I'm ready to vote," he said.

It was his generation that fought so hard, even died for that privilege. Now in his mid-70s, Emerson won't miss an election day. "No doubt about it. That's for sure."

And he'll make sure to have a photo ID in hand when he goes to the polls. "It's a good policy," he said.  "I think it's a necessity that should be enforced."

This is the first state wide election where every registered voter must present a picture ID in order to vote. Carolyn Hatcher said, "You don't want to get to the polls on election day and not have an ID."

Most of us already have a valid picture ID in the form of a drivers license, but if you don't, there are two very easy ways to get one. Just go the elections office, or come to the King Day Celebration at the Civic Center where free IDs will be made.

Harriet Hollis said, "We're about empowering our community and we know how important voting is so we want to make sure that everyone exercises their right."

A right many like Emerson marched for and will march straight to the booth to enjoy. Since late 2006, only about 120 people have had a picture ID made in the Dougherty County elections office.

If you are a registered voter and go to the polls on election day without a picture ID, you will still be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, but you'll be required to provide a picture ID within two days.

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