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Mills wants birth certificate required for voter registration
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Rep. James Mills, R-Gainesville, foreground, places his hand over his heart as the Pledge of Allegiance is recited during the beginning of the 2009 legislative session Monday in Atlanta. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

0113LEGISSIDEaud

Rep. James Mills, R-Chestnut Mountain, talks about his voter registration bill introduced Monday.

State Rep. James Mills, R-Chestnut Mountain, introduced a bill Monday that would require voters registering for the first time to present their birth certificate.

"This is to protect the integrity of the voting system," Mills said. "If there were situations where people were being registered to vote erroneously, this would certainly help to deter that."

Mills said the measure was patterned after an Arizona law, Proposition 200, a public initiative that was passed by voters in 2004. That law requires the presentation of documents related to citizenship, among them is a birth certificate.

According to Mills, his legislation requires the birth certificate.

"I have to present a birth certificate to register my children to play soccer," Mills said. "Certainly, it’s not too much to ask for first-time voters only."

The Arizona measure was challenged in federal court and was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Georgia must obtain preclearance before it implements new practices or procedures that affect voting.

If passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Mills’ bill would have to be reviewed by the U.S. Justice Department.

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