RedState has, for some time, championed national voting reforms, including laws that would require voters to show photographic identification when at polling locations. 33 states have no requirement for identification at polls and most others allow such things as utility bills and bank statements to prove that a voter is who the voter says he is.
That is about to change in Georgia. Senator Cecil Staton and Representative Sue Burmeister introduced legislation, part of which I helped draft after RedState’s call to action, that will help stamp out voter fraud at polling locations in Georgia.
Today, Governor Sonny Perdue signed H.B. 244, a comprehensive overhaul of the state election code, which includes a provision that will cut the number of approved methods of voter identification from 17 to 6, all of which will have photographs of the voter.
We see the bill as common sense. It adds a layer of protection to the integrity of our voting system. Critics point out that we have no numbers to prove people show up at polls posing as someone else and voting. They are mostly right. But, how would such comprehensive data be collected if I can show up with Josh Trevino’s power bill, say I’m Josh, and vote his ballot? Who is to prove me wrong if there is no photo identification requirement? If Josh shows up later to vote and is told he voted and proves he is who he claims to be, the first vote is already in the system and by then it is too late to determine if there was a clerical error or actual fraud.
We at RedState applaud Senator Staton, Representative Burmeister, Governor Perdue, and the Georgia Republicans for some common sense legislation. And we note that the usual suspects are not amused.
The League of Women Voters, the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund and the AARP were among the groups that opposed the bill during the legislative session, which ended last month.
Every member of the Legislative Black Caucus opposed the measure. Several black caucus leaders recently met with the Rev. Jesse Jackson to begin preliminary plans for a national march on Aug. 6 to oppose the law and bring attention to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which has several provisions set to expire in 2007.