Black Lawmakers Vow to Repeal Ga. Voter Law
By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer
Thu Dec 29,10:12 PM ET
At the end of a losing battle during the past legislative session, Georgia state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan burst into the civil rights anthem “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” to protest the passage of a law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls.
In the next session starting Jan. 9, the 27-year-old black Democrat says she will not be moved in her fight to get the law repealed.
“It’s whatever it takes,” Morgan said. “I’m putting on the armor. Nothing they can do will fix the bill. It’s a bad law and it needs to be repealed. We’re not going backwards.”
Thomas and other black lawmakers know they are in for a battle as Republicans stand determined to defend the law, which requires voters who do not have a driver’s license to buy a state-issued ID card for as much as $35 – a fee critics say hurts the poor, the elderly and minorities.
The law eliminates the use of some other forms of identification to vote, including Social Security cards, birth certificates and utility bills. Supporters, including Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, argued that the measure would help prevent fraud.
In October, a federal judge blocked Georgia from enforcing the law, saying the measure amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax because the state is not doing enough to make ID cards available to those who cannot afford them.
Republican Sen. Cecil Staton, the legislation’s chief Senate sponsor, is proposing to amend the law during the upcoming session. He said he is willing, among other things, to make the state-issued IDs free for the asking.