The Georgia General Assembly adopted the most restrictive voter identification requirements in the country. The previous law allowed a voter to use one of 17 different forms of identification, but the new law limited permissible identification to only five government-issued photo identification cards, which required people to pay for voter identification cards.

The ACLU of Georgia and other organizations filed suit arguing that the law constituted an unconstitutional poll tax, it violated the Georgia Constitution by adding a new requirement for voting, and it created an unconstitutional burden on the fundamental right to vote in violation of due process. Judge Harold Murphy granted our motion for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of Georgia’s new Voter Identification law.

Shortly after the ruling, the Georgia General Assembly passed a slightly revised photo-identification bill. The ACLU of Georgia amended the lawsuit to challenge the new law since it still required the use of a photo ID to vote.

Although a preliminary injunction was granted for the new law on July 12, 2006, the State was eventually able to take the case to the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. On January 14th, 2009, the Court of Appeals found that the government had a sufficient enough interest in preventing voter fraud to require the use of a photo ID to vote. This decision came down despite there being no found instances of in-person voter fraud in Georgia in over ten years.

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