Georgia absentee ID law has outsized impact on Black and metro voters

JUNE 1 – “Over 272,000 registered voters don’t have a driver’s license or state ID on file with election officials, meaning they’d have to submit additional documents to vote by mail under Georgia’s new voting law, state election records show.”

Originally published by The Atlanta-Journal Constitution

By Mark Niesse

“The ID requirements disproportionately affect Black voters, who are much less likely than white voters to have ID numbers matched to their voter registrations, according to election data.

Voters who lack a driver’s license or state ID number linked to their registrations will have to verify their identities to vote absentee. Georgia’s voting law requires them to provide a utility bill, bank statement or other form of ID in future elections.

Overall, about 3.5% of Georgia’s 7.8 million registered voters are missing a driver’s license or state ID number, according to records obtained from the secretary of state’s office under Georgia’s open records law. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed the state’s list of voters without ID by comparing it with their registration information, including race, address and voting history.

More than half are Black. Most live in large, Democratic-leaning counties. Some are homeless or poor. And roughly 80,000 of them actually may have IDs but their information isn’t yet matched to election data, an issue state election officials are working to correct.

‘Undoubtedly, if you put up more barriers and hurdles for people to go through, it’s more ways they can be tripped up and their vote may not count, or they won’t be able to be part of the election,’ said Sylvester Johnson, volunteer manager for VoteRiders, an organization that helps voters obtain ID.”