Senate Approves Controversial Voter ID Bill

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

January 24, 2006
After a day of emotional and some racially charged debate on the senate floor, the Voter ID bill passes. News 12 has a look at what happened in Atlanta.

It went through several committees and passed. Then to the House of Representatives and they said okay. And on Tuesday evening, after nearly seven hours of discussion, the state senate said okay to the controversial Voter ID bill.

It’s a wrap on a long day of heated discussion in Atlanta. But tonight, the passing of the Voter ID bill remains the talk of the town.

“It is so blatantly racist, it’s so blatantly damaging,” said Barbara Gordon.

“It’s a two-headed sword that needs to be done,” said Senator Whitehead.

“It is unconstitutional and we don’t need it,” said Charles Smith, NAACP.

Despite several press conferences, boycotts and rallies against the legislation, the controversial bill passed the state senate with a vote of 32 to 22.

“I think we have so many things that we require photo ID, and we need photo ID,” Senator Whitehead said.

For nearly seven hours, senators debated the legislation.

Under the new law, Georgia voters would have to show a state issued photo ID, that mean the 16 forms usually accepted will no longer be valid.

Supporters say the new measure will increase integrity in the voting system.

“Is there fraud, I think sure there is. We should not be able to use fraud in elections, has been done by both parties over the years, I would say so,” Senator Whitehead said.

“There is no proof based on comments by the Secretary of State Cathy Cox that there is voter fraud,” Smith said.

Senator Ed Tarver says the law may disenfranchise the poor, elderly, and minorities who are less likely to have driver’s licenses. And that’s why he voted no, but he says he’s not surprised to bill passed.

“It’s a republican sponsored piece of legislation and the republicans are the majority,” Tarver said.

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