Georgia legislature passes bill making it harder to register to vote

from Ballot Access News
Georgia Legislature Ends, Passes Bill Making it Harder to Register to Vote
April 4th, 2009

The Georgia legislature adjourned Friday night, April 3, a few minutes before midnight. On the last day the House passed SB 86. It requires people who are registering to vote to submit either a birth certificate or, if the person was born in a foreign country, documents showing the person was born a citizen, or naturalization documents.

Although a great deal of work was done in the last six months to find a sponsor for Georgia ballot access reform, no bill was introduced in the 2009 session.

On the last day of the session, HB 848 was introduced, to move the presidential primary from February to March. Of course the bill could not be acted upon, having been introduced so late, but the bill will be introduced again in 2010. The Democratic National Committee hopes to move all presidential primaries and caucuses that choose delegates from February to March, except for the four states that have special permission to be earlier than March. Thanks to Joshua Putnam for the news about HB 848.

A story from March 13th, in the journal Facing South, suggests that the moves for stricter voter ID in Georgia and other Southern states are a strategy to suppress voter turnout. That story is: here.

As noted in a story at the Fort Mill Times, critics of the bill have noted that the bill is a “Voting Rights Act nightmare” that could discriminate against the elderly and against foreign-born citizens. That story is: here

44 thoughts on “Georgia legislature passes bill making it harder to register to vote

  1. Kimberly Wilder Post author

    My nephew Ethan is here helping me to write. He wanted me to write a comment on what is happening in Georgia.

    Ethan says, “It should be stopped.”

  2. sunshinebatman

    Is Ethan an illegal alien? Why does Ethan want foreigners with values alien to Constitutional freedoms voting? Why does Ethan hate America?

  3. Nemo

    You know I have to agree the fundamental feelings of sunshine, without the anti-american stuff.

    Is it really wrong for people to be properly ID’d when participating in a process as sacred as our election process (on any level).

    Since having ID is the LAW in the United States Of America, I don’t think that this is such an outlandish request.

  4. Steven R Linnabary

    Is it really wrong for people to be properly ID’d when participating in a process as sacred as our election process (on any level).

    If the ID’s are free, perhaps.

    But all state ID’s do cost money, therefore they become a de facto poll tax. And poll taxes are unConstitutional as well as repugnant.

    PEACE

  5. paulie

    My nephew Ethan is here helping me to write. He wanted me to write a comment on what is happening in Georgia.

    Ethan says, “It should be stopped.”

    Ethan is right.

  6. paulie

    Is Ethan an illegal alien?

    No such thing.

    Why does Ethan want foreigners with values alien to Constitutional freedoms voting?

    What makes sunshinebatman think people who come to this nation of immigrants have “values alien to Constitutional freedoms,” or that such values are magically imbued by where someone is born or by whether some bureaucrat fit them into an immigration quota?

    Why does Ethan hate America?

    “Your papers, please” is a fascist mindset that is at odds with the ideals of freedom. Why does sunshinebatman hate freedom?

  7. paulie

    There’s a difference between an illegal alien and a foreign-born citizen

    Permission slips from some regime bureaucrat? That’s not a real difference.

  8. paulie

    Is it really wrong for people to be properly ID’d when participating in a process as sacred as our election process (on any level).

    Why should any human being have to have a cattle brand from the state?

  9. Joey

    If anything, every state needs a voter ID law. Either a driver’s license or some form of photo identification needs to be shown before one takes a ballot and fills it out…Texas is close to passing a voter ID bill and Democrats are going ape-crazy over it.

    Why? It’s obvious that Democrats are patent-holders of voter fraud (not to say the GOP isn’t with their machines…), but the elephant in the room in this whole thing is the fact Libertarians – a lot of them – don’t have government issued identification, or refuse to get one, or refuse to take part in “the system.”

    There should be a verifiable paper-and-photo trail of who votes in our elections.

  10. paulie

    Since having ID is the LAW in the United States Of America

    What kind of law is that? It goes against the ideas of liberty which America is supposed to uphold.

    Even fairly recently, SS cards said “not to be used for identification purposes” and American movies made fun of the nazi mindset that demanded “your papers, please”. Now Americans have the same mentality. Truly sad.

    Also, there is no law that someone has to possess a copy of their birth certificate or naturalization papers. These are expensive to replace if lost or stolen, and thus deprive poor people of their rights if such a law is allowed to be enforced, especially in a state with a history of depriving people of their voting rights.

    Most people don’t carry such documents around with them, which makes it much more difficult to conduct voter registration drives. Thus, many people who are in fact US citizens would be deprived of their voting rights.

  11. paulie

    and thus deprive poor people of their rights if such a law is allowed to be enforced,

    Correction: edict, not law.

  12. derkel

    “If the ID’s are free, perhaps.

    But all state ID’s do cost money, therefore they become a de facto poll tax. And poll taxes are unConstitutional as well as repugnant.”

    The law does not require an ID. The law would require a birth certificate which every American citizen should have anyways.

    Illegal immigrants should not be able to cast a vote for any issue in this country.

    “These are expensive to replace if lost or stolen”

    In almost every state obtaining birth certificates costs less than $20. I wouldn’t consider that expensive.

  13. Ross Levin

    I’m siding with Paulie on this one. There have been about two dozen documented voter fraud cases in the past couple of major elections, but there are countless cases in which votes are suppressed. The voters that would be hurt most by voter ID laws are poor minorities, or a big part of the Democratic base, which is why I’m so skeptical of these laws. I’m no Democrat, but we shouldn’t be trying to suppress any votes for any reason (and we shouldn’t be doing things that inadvertently take away peoples’ right to vote, either).

  14. Gregg Jocoy

    As a former long time resident of Fort Mill, and a critic of the McClatchy owned Fort Mill Times, I must point out that the linked article was not written by a Times writer, nor even a McClatchy writer, but a writer for the Associated Press.

    This is not a criticism of Kimberly nor the write-up here. As I mentioned, I know the Times and their hack writers and editors. It does not surprise me even a little that they would not properly attribute the piece to the AP.

    In another article, Bluestein indicates that the GA legislature may require that a driver’s license test must be given in English only. Since that is the most likely form of ID used, one can’t help but wonder if the actual intent is to deny voting rights to US citizens who don’t speak English.

    This is but one more example of how “the system” is more of a set-up than anything else. At least that’s how I see it.

  15. derkel

    I’m just finding it difficult to believe the “poor” can’t spare $20 of their welfare check to take and obtain a copy of their birth certificate. Rather than buying a 6 pack or paying for the big screen tv, they could easily obtain the document needed to register to vote.

    I could see the problemwith requiring IDs at polling stations (which is still extremely weak since IDs cost $15) but showing a birth certificate to register is not a big deal.

  16. Ross Levin

    Oh, yeah, all those poor people buying their big screen TVs! How about the ones that have just a few bucks for dinner, and have to decide getting a photo ID and voting or eating?

    And it’s not just the cost, like Paulie said it’s a totalitarian measure. If you’ve already registered to vote, why require an extra, unnecessary step? We should be doing everything our power to bring people to the polls, not push them away.

  17. paulie

    In almost every state obtaining birth certificates costs less than $20. I wouldn’t consider that expensive.

    Naturalization certificate replacements are a lot more expensive.

  18. Steven R Linnabary

    In almost every state obtaining birth certificates costs less than $20. I wouldn’t consider that expensive.

    Just a tad arrogant are we?? $20 might not seem like much to YOU. But I know people trying to eke out a living at McDonald’s. Add the fact that their birth place might be across the country, and you’ve got a significant expense.

    I’m no Democrat, but we shouldn’t be trying to suppress any votes for any reason (and we shouldn’t be doing things that inadvertently take away peoples’ right to vote, either).

    Exactly.

    In fact, the people I’m referring to above are in fact very likely to vote Libertarian again in the future (apparently I opened their minds).

    These are the very people most likely to benefit from voting Libertarian. I can see no justification in increasing the hurdles they already face in order to vote.

    But then again, it is a republican sponsored bill.

    PEACE

  19. sunshinebatman

    When you vote, you become part of the regime. Free people need to set limits and kep track of these dangerous regime statists.

    You are advocating a radical pro-statist position here.

    NO SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR STATIST VOTERS!

    There’s a difference between an illegal alien and a foreign-born citizen

    Permission slips from some regime bureaucrat? That’s not a real difference.

  20. paulie

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Replacement-Birth-Certificates-How-to-Get-a-Copy-of-Your-Lost,-Stolen-or-Misplaced-Birth-Records&id=705302

    Occasionally the county or town where you were born might have a copy of your birth certificate, but not all do. However, if you are in your mid-70s or older, you might find that’s the only place they do exist as a number of state records go back only until the early 1900s.

    This can be a Catch-22 for the elderly, particularly those from rural areas. Local records have been lost due to fires, floods, and other natural disasters. Sometimes the only record is a listing in a family Bible.

  21. paulie

    “This can be a Catch-22 for the elderly, particularly those from rural areas. …”

    Especially heinous for older black folks in Georgia who started out their adulthood being denied voting rights due to segregation, and now may be denied voting rights once again because they don’t have a birth certificate.

    These Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.

  22. derkel

    “Just a tad arrogant are we?? $20 might not seem like much to YOU. But I know people trying to eke out a living at McDonald’s. Add the fact that their birth place might be across the country, and you’ve got a significant expense.”

    Arrogant because I think people can afford $20? I lived under the poverty line from my first year in college until now. With no welfare or special assistance and I could easily save up $20 over the course of a year to obtain a copy of a birth certificate.

    “$380 fee for Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document according to uscis.gov”

    Then if there is a significant cost like you state, then other measures need to be worked out. $20 I can easily see, but $380 is definitely a problem.

    I just have no problem with the overall goal of stopping voter fraud and making sure illegal immigrants do not cast a vote.

  23. sunshinebatman

    How, exactly, does this legislation tie to REAL ID, pc?

    Ga should probably let folks whose names appear on the tax rolls vote, if they lack a birth certificate.

    If these poor certificateless old Georgian folks need to vote, there should be a legal process in Georgia where they can file an affidavit for a birth record. Maybe some of the leftist do-gooder legal groups should help actual disenfranchised Georgians on the ground, rather than agitating for more foreign power in the American government.

    & you are right paulie, this is a nation of immigrants. Many of my ancestors immigrated to the US over several different countries. But they didn’t all arrive here demanding to rule over Americans. They worked and served for several years and established themselves as contributing members of society before they had the right to vote/rule (same thing & increasingly so).

    It’s suicidal insanity to say someone can walk off a boat and rule over you. What is the consepquence of this? Can Communist China do a Havana boat lift of 100 million young Chinese men and have them vote in our elections? Can the US miliary “migrate” millions of Israelis and Americans to Baghdad just for election day, and have them vote? Have them rule? Have them be the state? That is suicide. Suicide of the individual at the hand of the state. It is repugnant.

  24. Ross Levin

    Come on, derkel, America was founded on people stepping off boats and ruling the other people that were here first! Where’s your patriotism?

    Seriously, what’s the point of making an impediment to voting? There have been maybe a few dozen documented cases of voter fraud over the past few years, while there have been millions of cases of people being turned away from the polls. Which should take priority?

  25. Kimberly Wilder

    I am not sure if someone should be forced to show any id or citizenship when they register to vote. I don’t believe that there could be huge amounts of voter fraud, the way polls are locally set up with address lists that get checked off.

    But, separately from the voter registration issue…

    How the f-ck could any American think it is great to require people to walk around with a “National ID” card?

    All I can think of is my shock, way back in the 90’s when I went to Russia. I was told that everyone had to carry their papers that said who they were and what neighborhood they live in. And, that under the stricter Soviet regime, they would be in trouble if they were outside their neighborhood with good reason.

    People here who are glad about extra measures of producing id are like lambs being led to the slaughter.

    First, the government will require id cards. Then, they will set up more and more checkpoints to look it over.

  26. Richard Winger

    In the 1960’s the US Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia poll tax of (as I recall) $4, was unconstitutional, because it violated equal protection, because some voters could easily afford it and others couldn’t.

    Just because one of the commenters above might have been “easily” able to save $20 for this purpose even if he had been very poor at the time, it doesn’t follow that every other poor person has the characteristics to achieve this.

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    And aside from the money … well, let me describe my own situation.

    A few years ago, I lost all of my IDs — driver’s license, Social Security card, etc. — when my wallet went missing.

    I know I used to have a copy of my birth certificate somewhere, but I can’t find it.

    In order to get a new state ID (driver’s license or non-driver ID — since I no longer drive, I’d go for the latter this time), I have to present my birth certificate and my Social Security card.

    In order to get a new Social Security card, I have to present my birth certificate and my state ID.

    In order to get a copy of my birth certificate, I have to present my state ID and Social Security card.

    There are apparently some drawn-out alternative processes for getting around these requirement. Maybe I’ll eventually get around to it.

    On the other hand, why should I have to?

    How many voters had photo IDs in 1789? (Answer: Zero).

  28. paulie

    Arrogant because I think people can afford $20? I lived under the poverty line from my first year in college until now. With no welfare or special assistance and I could easily save up $20 over the course of a year to obtain a copy of a birth certificate.

    Why should you have to save up anything? Charging money for the right to vote should be against the law in this country. And what if you lost the IDs it takes to get a replacement birth certificate?

  29. paulie

    Then if there is a significant cost like you state, then other measures need to be worked out. $20 I can easily see, but $380 is definitely a problem.

    It’s not what I state, it’s what the website of the government agency that issues the document states. And since the Georgia legislature has no say in what that agency charges, they should have no right to pass this edict, which will hopefully be thrown out in court.

  30. Rocky Eades

    @ #33 – Hell, Tom, how many voters had photo IDs in 1976? I don’t remember if North Carolina had gone to photo DLs by then or not, but if so it had only been very recently!

  31. paulie

    How, exactly, does this legislation tie to REAL ID

    State drivers licenses are being tied into the “REAL ID” and it takes one of those plus an SS card to get a Georgia birth certificate. So, unless someone already has a copy of their birth certificate, they will not be able to opt out of the REAL ID if/when it passes in Georgia without losing their right to vote.

  32. paulie

    Ga should probably let folks whose names appear on the tax rolls vote, if they lack a birth certificate.

    What about people who are out of work? Senior citizens who are retired? Tax protesters?

  33. paulie

    there should be a legal process in Georgia where they can file an affidavit for a birth record.

    Why should someone have to go through legal affidavits to gain a right they already supposed to have?

  34. paulie

    Ross, Richard, Tom, Kimberly and Rocky all make good points.

    This type of legislation has no place in any state that considers itself part of a free country.

  35. Tomcat

    I’m a resident of GA, and while a state ID can be had for free (to avoid being a de facto poll tax), I’m still against this. The process of getting a copy of one’s birth certificate can be a pain in the butt if you work for a living, and the cost isn’t exactly easy for everyone to pay when you’re dirt poor. As for immigration documents, I can only imagine how much this has to suck.

    I’m hoping the Govenor will veto this, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  36. Gregg Jocoy

    In a former life I sold Lance Crackers in Georgia. If you don’t know what a shotgun shack is you should look it up. One of the tiny towns I served was Sparta, GA. I swear to God that most of the folks who lived there, at least as far as I could tell, lived in a shotgun shack. Newspaper was often used to cover the walls to keep the wind out. Insulation under the homes was non-existent. Of course I couldn’t see in the walls, but I can’t imagine there was any there either.

    Georgia Power and whichever gas company supplied that fuel didn’t do so for free.

    Those of you who think even a penny for the right to vote in America is appropriate are little more than Stalinists to me. I hope and pray that none of you are ever in a position of control over another human being.

    But that is just my opinion. Having lived for three years in Caracas, Venezuela I can say with absolute certainty that I know what a third world nation looks like. It looks like much of rural Georgia.

  37. Tomcat

    @Paulie: It’s possible that the courts will decide it’s unconstitutional, which it is, but these are the same types of courts that recently told a state representative that a law didn’t mean what he said it meant…and he wrote it and debated the point in the General Assembly, so don’t hold your breath there either.

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