Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Thursday, August 18
Law Prof Letter on Georgia ID Preclearance
Five law professors have submitted this letter to the Department of Justice, opposing the State of Georgia's pending request for preclearance of a new voter identification bill. The signatories to the letter are Adam Cox of University of Chicago, Heather Gerken of Harvard, Michael Kang of Emory, Spencer Overton of George Washington University, and me. I've previously discussed Georgia's ID law here and here.

Our letter argues that Georgia has failed to meet its burden under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, to show that the recently enacted law is "nonretrogressive." It focuses particular attention on the elimination of the affidavit option for voters who lack ID. Under preexisting state law, voters without an approved form of identification could vote by executing a sworn affidavit stating that they are qualified to vote. Georgia's newly enacted law eliminates this option. Our letter urges that preclearance be denied, at least until Georgia produces information as to how many affidavit ballots were cast and, more specifically, how many were cast in predominantly minority precincts.

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