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Georgia voter ID law challenge sent back to lower court

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] on Thursday instructed a lower court to reconsider a challenge to Georgia's controversial voter ID law [PDF text] that required voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting their ballots, but left in place an injunction [PDF text; JURIST report] barring the law's enforcement. The three-judge panel instructed the lower court to reconsider the case in light of a new version of the law [SB 84 text, PDF], passed [JURIST report] by the Georgia state legislature [official website] last month.

Last October, the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted the injunction, finding that there was a substantial likelihood that the plaintiffs would succeed on their claims that the voter ID law functions like a poll tax, and goes beyond what is necessary to prevent voter fraud. In response, Georgia lawmakers passed a revised version of the bill which provides free photo IDs to anyone requiring them, waiving the normal $35 fee. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue [official website] signed the bill, but it will not take effect until it has been approved by the US Department of Justice, as is required under the 1965 Voting Rights Act [DOJ backgrounder] for all changes in voting requirements in states with a history of suppressing minority votes. AP has more.

Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase...

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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