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Voters, bring your photo IDs to polls

Long-delayed state law in effect for fall election

POSTED: November 1, 2007 5:05 a.m.

If you're heading to the polls this week for early voting, make sure you bring photo identification.

Though voters previously had to show identification to vote, a state law implemented in September now requires that identification must have a photo. The Nov. 6 election, and this week's early voting, will be the first time Hall County voters have had to show photo identification.

Voters are not required to supply photo identification if they vote absentee by mail.

"The main thing is for people to make sure that their addresses are up to date," said Charlotte Sosebee-Hunter, interim chief registrar and director of elections for Hall County.

Hunter said it's important for voters to update their information ahead of time to ensure they won't have problems when they go to the polls or to the elections office for early voting. "We can't urge people enough about that," Hunter said.

After two years of legal wrangling, the voter ID law went into effect last month after being upheld by a federal judge, who said the statute does not impose a significant burden on the right to vote. Georgia's Republican-led legislature first adopted a voter ID law in 2005. In early 2006, lawmakers amended the law to make the IDs free and to ensure they are available in each of the state's 159 counties.

So what forms of ID are acceptable? Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID; a Georgia driver's license, even if expired; valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. government, Georgia or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of the state. Also acceptable: Valid U.S. passport, military photo ID and tribal photo ID.

If you don't have one of the six acceptable forms of photo ID, the state of Georgia offers a free Voter Identification Card, which can be issued at any county registrar's office or Department of Driver Services office.

Before being issued a voter identification card, the voter must provide: A photo identity document or approved non-photo identity document that includes full legal name and date of birth; documentation showing the voter's date of birth; evidence that the applicant is a registered voter; documentation showing the applicant's name and residential address.



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