Friday, October 13, 2006

GA Elections: GOP Involved in Vote Suppression

As in other states with GOP controlled legislatures, here in Georgia the GOP has passed laws which limit that most fundamental of rights, the right to vote.

Georgia's General Assembly has passed photo I.D. laws which have now been struck down three different times as unconstitutional by both the state and federal courts. ("Third Judge Declares Voter I.D. Unconstitutional")

The news today is much more ominous however, and troubling to any reasonable citizen. Why? A week after a judge struck down Georgia's photo ID requirement for voters because it violated the state Constitution, nearly 200,000 letters — not the originally reported 20,000 — were sent out to registered voters, notifying them they may not have a valid driver's license or state-issued photo ID and therefore cannot vote - an incorrect statement of the law. Photo ID is not required to vote Nov. 7.

To me and others, it is a willful violation of the court's order. One Democrat member of the elections board - the GOP controlled entity that sent the letter - said, "This shows the lengths to which Republicans are willing to go to stay in power."

The Judge entered his Order on September 19, 2006, and it made headlines everywhere that day. According to a printing and postal delivery schedule provided by the State Elections Division of the Secretary of State's office, there were 79,496 letters delivered to the post office for mailing on Sept. 20 and another 115,747 sent on Sept. 25.

Foul play? It is unprecedented that the elections board would have sent out the letters, since traditionally it was the job of the election division of the Secretary of State's Office.

Is this how any one party should handle a right enshrined in the U.S. Constitution?