Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Elections Officials, Voters Deal with Fluid Messages about IDs; On-Again, Off-Again Status of Law in Courts Keeps Everyone Alert

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Elections Officials, Voters Deal with Fluid Messages about IDs; On-Again, Off-Again Status of Law in Courts Keeps Everyone Alert

Article excerpt

Byline: VICKY ECKENRODE

ATLANTA - Elections officials in Augusta have made up 250 free ID cards so far this year for voters concerned they would not have the proper identification to cast ballots under Georgia's new law.

Despite a court decision Tuesday again blocking the law, Richmond County Election Supervisor Lynn Bailey said she has no plans to pack up the card-making machine just yet.

The past year of stop-and-go action on the law, which attempts to reduce the number of documents Georgia voters can bring to the polls, has Bailey and elections officials across the state waiting in limbo for the final decision.

"The worst part of it is just the uncertainty. Election preparation doesn't happen overnight," Bailey said. "Even laying that whole issue aside, you hate that the confusion is out there for the voters."

MOST JUST WANT ISSUE SETTLED

Bailey said she doesn't care which way the controversy over voting requirements is decided as long as it gets settled.

But that could still be a while.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. on Tuesday ruled that Georgia's voter identification law, which requires one of six government-issued photo IDs, violated the state's constitution.

Now the former law is in place allowing voters to show one of 17 forms of identification to prove who they are, including a birth certificate or utility bill.

Bedford ordered a permanent injunction of the new law, meaning it should be blocked indefinitely for the upcoming November general elections and after. Previous injunctions, both in state and federal courts, in the past year have stopped the requirement from taking effect one election at a time.

Though Bedford called his injunction permanent, it could still be overturned.

The state attorney general's office plans to file an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. …

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