Sunday, June 25, 2006

Voter ID in Georgia

I listened to a part of Jesse Jackson's radio program this morning. His guest was the Georgia Secretary of State, who is running for Governor this year. The main topic was Georgia's new requirement that voters must present government-issued photo identification. Georgian passed the law early last year as a way to prevent voter fraud.

The Secretary of State is a Democrat, and she opposes the requirement for photo ID. She gave as one of her reasons that photo ID is too difficult to obtain. She cited as an example that several students at a Georgia college had attempted to obtain a Georgia photo ID. They presented valid evidence of Georgia residence, but all had been denied. I was surprised to learn this until the Secretary of State gave the reason. The students had refused to surrender their out-of-state driver's licenses.

I hate to be the one to break this information to the Georgia Secretary of State. It is illegal in both states for a resident of Georgia to have a driver's license from another state. A person can not have a primary residence in both states.

I have moved across state lines a couple of times. Every time I went for the first time to get an in-state driver's license, I was required to surrender the old license.

Requiring voters to present photo ID will help to prevent voter fraud. (Incidentally, Jackson and the Georgia Secretary of State never mentioned the issue of voter fraud.) Obtaining photo ID is not hard. Nearly everyone of voting age has obtained a driver's license, and states with a photo ID requirement for voting can make available a similar free photo ID for non-drivers.

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