Voter ID law big topic at NAACP meeting

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

A voter ID law is stirring up controversy around the state, and soon the debate may go national.

With Georgia's primary just a week away, the NAACP met with some local candidates, hoping to find a solution to a political problem.

The idea of the federal Voter Rights Act is "one person, one vote"...but now, with Georgia's controversial voter ID law in limbo, some local leaders are concerned.

"Georgia is the only state doesn't have full support from Republican Party on the Voter Rights Act," said Dr. Charles Smith, president of the Augusta NAACP.

A federal judge will hear the argument to block a Georgia law requiring voters to show photo ID's before casting a ballot.

"Please do not allow this to be taken away from us," Dr. Smith said. "Do your part."

Even as a state court considers the issue and national lawmakers weigh the future of the Voting Rights Act, critics want to stop it, calling it unconstitutional and saying it affects Georgia's elderly, low-income and minority voters.

"It's no coincidence Georgia would attempt to place a restriction like that on our voters," said Rep. Quincy Murphy. "We must continue to fight it."

The hearing comes less than a week before the July 18 state primary, the first time the new voter ID law could apply.

"These are critical times for our community and for our state, and the most important thing we can do is turn out for the elections," said Barbara Gordon.

The forum featured candidates running for state office such as Wayne Howard, Quincy Murphy, and Richard Colclough.

State senators Ed Tarver and Gloria Frazier were also in attendance.

The forum covered topics like education, voter empowerment, voter participation and community concerns.

To learn about federal voting rights laws, click here to visit the Department of Justice's webpage.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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