Feds slap Georgia’s voter ID checks
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - October 09, 2008
The U.S. Department of Justice has told Georgia officials that their efforts to verify the identities and citizenship of registered voters amount to substantial changes to state policy and are unenforceable without approval under the Voting Rights Act.
Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker received the letter at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, his spokesman said.
It was not immediately clear what the ramifications of the letter are for the state or its counties.
“We have been in consultation with our client and remain in contact with our client about how to respond to this DOJ inquiry,” Baker spokesman Russ Willard said. The client is Secretary of State Karen Handel, the state’s chief elections officer.
Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for Handel, declined to comment about the letter late Wednesday. But, he noted that in 2007 the Department of Justice ordered the state to verify voter identities by cross checking driver and Social Security data.
Efforts to reach the Justice Department late Wednesday were unsuccessful.
The letter comes days after the Social Security Administration questioned the state’s high volume of requests to verify voter identities. Georgia’s 2 million requests surpassed those of any other state.
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