Ga. Clarifies Message on Voter Photo IDs

Associated Press
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

ATLANTA, Oct. 17 -- Georgia's State Election Board on Tuesday approved a letter that will inform more than 300,000 voters that they can cast a ballot on Nov. 7 without presenting a photo ID.

State officials acknowledged last Thursday that nearly 200,000 voters -- not the 20,000 initially reported by Vice Chair Claud "Tex" McIver -- were told by letter that they would need to get a photo ID at the polls, even though Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford had previously declared that requirement unconstitutional.

The new letters will tell voters they can still use 17 forms of identification at the polls.

The election board also approved radio and television public service announcements to be broadcast statewide.

For months, lawyers have been battling over Georgia's photo ID law in state and federal court since it was signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) earlier this year.

Supporters of the law -- primarily Republicans -- have said it is needed to prevent voter fraud, despite the absence of examples of in-person voter fraud. Opponents claim the photo ID law is intended to discourage minorities, the poor and the elderly from casting ballots.

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