Image by elmada via FlickrGeorgia’s voter photo ID law went before the state Supreme Court Tuesday.
The 2005 law requires voters present photo identification before casting their ballots, but waives that requirement for absentee ballots.
In legal briefs, attorneys for the state’s Democratic party argued nowhere in Georgia’s constitution is the right to vote contingent on the possession of an approved form of photo ID. They also say the law has a discriminatory effect on black voters.
A state court upheld the photo ID law earlier this year. The Democratic party is appealling the decision..
Twenty six other states require voters show an ID to vote, but only eight of those ask for a photo identification.
Elections law expert DanTokaji at Ohio State University says Georgia law is even more stringent:
“Unlike almost all other states, Georgia requires a government-issued photo identification, something like a driver’s license, in order to vote and to have one’s vote counted.”
Tokaji says Indiana is the only other state with the stricter requirement and it’s been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Georgia's voter photo ID law was also upheld in a federal court in 2009 after voters sued the state claiming it violated the US Constitution.