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Judge Upholds Discriminatory Voter ID Requirement

Federal Judge Upholds Discriminatory Voter ID Requirement

League of Women VotersVows: No One Turned Away at Polls

Washington DC- The League of Women Voters of the United States and the League of Women Voters of Georgia today expressed extreme disappointment following a federal judge’s ruling that upholds a discriminatory voter ID requirement in the state of Georgia.

“This ruling is a troubling wake-up call that democracy is being compromised in Georgia and elsewhere,” said national League president Mary G. Wilson.

“The ruling is extremely disappointing to the League and to voters throughout Georgia,” Wilson continued. “Discriminatory and unnecessary photo ID restrictions are known to prevent eligible citizens from exercising their most precious right: the right to vote. We thought poll taxes were part of a by-gone era: Clearly we were wrong.”

“Now its time to focus on education efforts,” said Jennifer Owens, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Georgia. “The Georgia League will continue to do everything it can to ensure voters of all backgrounds have the information and the access they need to exercise their rights.”

“Together with our national network of League members, we will continue to work against these unnecessary restrictions that disproportionately undermine our democracy by hindering the rights' of the elderly, people of color, and the poor,” Owens concluded.

Not only does the Georgia law reduce the acceptable forms of identification that voters can use from 17 to 6 but it also makes state-issued photo identification an absolute must in order to vote. Georgia’s photo ID law was first passed by the legislature in 2005 with a revised version passed in 2006. A series of legal challenges at the state and federal level have resulted in numerous injunctions delaying its implementation. However, on September 6, 2007 a federal court judge upheld the constitutionality of the law and Georgia voters will be expected to produce photo ID to vote in-person beginning with special elections on September 18, 2007.
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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With more than 87 years of experience and 850 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.

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