Voter Security Reform Legislation – Non-Citizen ID Should Not Be “Correct ID” in Georgia polls
February 19, 2021
Written and submitted by: State representative Charlice Byrd
The right to vote in free and fair elections is fundamental to our civil society. This sacred right on which our democracy is based cannot be taken for granted, nor can we afford to undermine it by a lack of confidence in our elections. I believe, like so many other Georgians, that we have a duty to do everything we can to ensure the security and integrity of the elections.
Many political solutions are being discussed to make the elections in Georgia the safest in the country. I offer a simple, sensible solution to give the actual coordination process an additional level of security. A simple clarification of the Georgian voter ID code and the unique “NOT VOTER ID” marking on driver’s licenses issued to non-nationals. This will help reduce pressure and confusion on election workers and volunteer workers.
Many Georgians may be surprised to learn that Georgia is issuing a driving license and government ID card to non-citizens that is almost identical to what many voters use as an official ID card for voting. The only difference in appearance from mine is the words “LIMITED TERM” in capital letters above.
In addition, there is nothing in state law that prohibits the use of these driver’s licenses or ID cards by non-nationals as “proper ID / photo ID” for voting purposes. This may have been an oversight, but many believe that this loophole in the security of voter ID cards should be addressed immediately.
Currently, the law provides that “proper identification” for presentation to an election officer when voting is a Georgian driver’s license, valid Georgian voter ID, or other valid ID issued by a Georgia branch, department, agency or facility , another state, or the United States that is legally authorized to issue an identity card, provided that identity card includes a photo of the voter. ”
The law also allows the acceptance of valid U.S. passports, a photo ID of a government employee, a valid tribal ID with a photo of the voter, and a military ID. The law does not specifically exclude the driver’s licenses or ID cards that the Department of Drivers Services (DDS) issues to non-citizens of any kind.
The Motor Voter Registration system used in Georgia has proven imperfect in other states. To be clear, Motor Voter has allowed non-citizens to register to vote across the country. This is evident from reports in the Associated Press and NPR, as well as the Pew Center. This obvious and unnecessary loophole in Georgian law needs to be closed.
I introduced HB 228 to fill this gap.OCGA 21-2-417 ) who deal with “presentation of ID card for election workers; Proper identification form; … ‘to add a language that specifically excludes driving licenses and identity cards issued to non-nationals from acceptance. Legislation will also change current law to require DDS to add the phrase “BEARS NOT US CITIZENS – NOT VOTERS ID” to all driver’s licenses and ID cards issued to non-citizens. This will help eliminate the possibility of confusion or accidental acceptance in the voting process in future elections.
Rep. Charlice Byrd represents District 20 in the Georgia House of Representatives.
«Previous article Kasey Carpenter’s Bill on State Tuition Fees for Illegal Foreigners (HB120)