For Immediate Release
September 6, 2007
Director of Communications
Secretary Handel Remarks on Voter ID Ruling
Atlanta - Secretary of State Karen Handel calls the favorable ruling in the photo ID lawsuit by Judge Harold Murphy of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division, a “tremendous victory for Georgia … for our citizens … and for the integrity of our elections.”
“Georgia’s photo ID requirement helps ensure that ballots cast legally by citizens voting in person are not cancelled out by those who commit voter fraud,” Secretary Handel continued.
In his 160-page ruling Judge Murphy made two significant points: that the plaintiffs, neither the organizations nor the individuals, had standing to bring the lawsuit; and, more importantly, the plaintiffs failed to show that the enforcement of this law would cause harm to any Georgia voter.
Additionally, Judge Murphy's order noted that the Voter ID card is free and accessible and that voters can vote absentee by mail without photo identification.
Judge Murphy also referenced the state's “exceptional efforts” to contact voters, including 250,000 pieces of mail, hundreds of paid radio spots, scores of media stories, a toll free hotline and website, and training for poll workers and elections officials.
In light of the ruling, the voters participating in the September 18 elections held in 22 counties will be required to show photo ID for in-person voting during in-person advanced voting and on Election Day. The Office of the Secretary of State will continue to move forward with the education plan aimed at the next set of counties holding elections in November and culminate with a state-wide initiative leading into the February 5 Presidential Preference Primary.
When voting in-person during this early voting period and on Election Day, voters are required to show one of the following six forms of photo ID:
§ A Georgia Driver's License, even if expired
§ Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID card issued by your county registrar or DDS office
§ Valid U.S. passport
§ Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of this state
§ Valid U.S. military photo ID
§ Valid tribal photo ID
If voters do not have one of these forms of photo identification, they can get a FREE Voter ID card at their county registrars' office or the Georgia Department of Driver's Services. Voters without photo ID can vote by absentee ballot without photo ID.
If a voter attempts to vote and does not have one of the acceptable forms of photo identification, they can still vote a provisional ballot. The voter will have up to two days after the election to present appropriate photo identification at the county registrar’s office in order for the provisional ballot to be counted.
Anyone with additional questions about photo ID can visit www.GAPhotoID.com or call toll free 1-877-725-9797.