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June 02, 2009

Obama DoJ...Rejects Georgia Voter ID Plan

Hey, it's only one of the most important and sacred parts of citizenship. Why should you have to prove who you are to vote?

The Justice Department has rejected Georgia's system of using Social Security numbers and driver's license data to check whether prospective voters are citizens, a process that was a subject of a federal lawsuit in the weeks leading up to November's election.

In a letter released on Monday, the Justice Department said the state's voter verification program is frequently inaccurate and has a "discriminatory effect" on minority voters. The decision means Georgia must halt the citizenship checks, although the state can still ask the Justice Department to reconsider, according to the letter and to the Georgia secretary of state's office.

"This flawed system frequently subjects a disproportionate number of African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters to additional, and more importantly, erroneous burdens on the right to register to vote," Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's civil rights division, said. King's letter was sent to Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker on Friday.

The Supreme Court upheld Indiana's voter ID law last year but Georgia is one of the state's covered by the pre-clearance requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Fortunately, that section is currently under attack in a recently argued case at the Supreme Court (here's hoping Anthony Kennedy's coin lands on the right side!).

So to sum up the current administrations stand on voting rights...New Black Panthers wielding weapons at polling stations, no harm, no foul. Requiring voters to show ID (something you have to do to get into most state and federal buildings to name just two mundane activities)...not allowed.

Good to know.

Added [Gabe]: AP cut this out of its piece, but I think it's just a little important:

Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for Handel, said he could not respond to King’s contention that minorities were more likely to be flagged because the department would not reveal its methodology.

Uh huh. We're just supposed to take the DOJ's word for it? Most. Transparent. Administration. Evar.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:58 PM

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