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Handel hails court decision on voter photo ID
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Voter turnouts
The figures below represent voter turnout statistics among Hispanic/Latino, African-American and White voters from the 2004 and 2008 General Elections.

Voter demographic    2004 votes cast    2008 votes cast    Increase in turnout (%)
Hispanic/Latino        18,000                43,000                140
African-American      834,000                1.2 million           42
White                    2.3 million            2.5 million              8

ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel hailed a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a writ of certiorari by challengers to the State’s photo ID statute. With this denial, a January decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Georgia’s photo ID law is final.

“Today’s denial of yet another challenge to our common sense photo ID law represents a long-fought victory for Georgia voters and the security of our elections,” Handel said Monday. “After four years of litigation by special interest groups, plaintiffs are still unable to find one Georgia voter who was unable to cast a ballot due to our photo ID law.”

Since Georgia’s photo ID law was implemented in 2006, voters have cast over 9 million ballots in over 15 elections, including the record-setting November 2008 general election in which nearly 4 million Georgians voted. In that election, 92 percent of votes were cast in person with a photo ID.

“I want to thank Gov. Perdue, the Georgia Legislature, and particularly Sen. Cecil Staton for sponsoring our photo ID law and supporting our multiphase, multimedia outreach and education effort,” Handel added.

Georgia’s photo ID law has now withstood challenges in Fulton County Superior Court, U.S. District Court, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In September 2007, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy dismissed the plaintiffs’ case in its entirety, finding that Georgia’s photo ID law imposed no undue burden on the right to vote.

This January, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Murphy’s decision, noting that, “The interest in detecting and deterring voter fraud is a valid neutral justification that this Court cannot ignore.”

The 2008 elections were the largest in Georgia’s history, featuring record turnout among minority voters with the photo ID requirement in place.
Voters are required to show one of the following six forms of photo ID when voting in-person:

• A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired;

• Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar or Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS);

• Valid U.S. passport;

• Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of this state;

• Valid U.S. military photo ID; or

• Valid tribal photo ID.

If a voter does not have one of these forms of photo identification, they can obtain a free voter ID card at their county registrars’ office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

A Georgia voter who does not have an acceptable form of photo identification when voting in-person can cast a provisional ballot at the poll, and then has 48 hours to return to his or her county registrar’s office with an acceptable form of identification to have that ballot count.