The Floyd County Elections Office has been ready and waiting to issue voter identification cards since receiving a go-ahead from state officials Friday morning. But as of Friday afternoon, the only people to come in asking about them didnt actually need one, said Elections and Registration Supervisor Evon Billups.
People are confused, Billups said, explaining that voters who already have drivers licenses have been inquiring about ID cards.
Only those citizens who do not have a form of valid photo identification a drivers license, government-issued ID, passport, military ID or tribal ID card need worry about getting the free card, which includes the registrants photo, name, address, height, weight, eye color, sex and date of birth.
A new law requires voters to present government-issued photo IDs at the polls.
The Republican-backed voter ID law was first passed in 2005, but U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy in Rome blocked enforcement, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax. The state Legislature amended the law early this year to make photo IDs free to anyone who needs them in all of Georgias 159 counties.
A challenge to the law is still pending in U.S. District Court in Rome. Murphy has given petitioners until Wednesday to file another motion asking for a temporary halt to the law, according to court records. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for July 12.
In a separate action, former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes dismissed the suit he filed which had been scheduled for a Monday hearing in DeKalb Superior Court but said it could be reinstated with a different plaintiff.
Billups is not expecting many requests for the new ID cards. I have no way of knowing, she said, but I really dont anticipate a lot of people.
Those who need to obtain one are welcome to come to the Elections Office, located in the Floyd County Administration Building at 12 E. Fourth Ave., which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Billups will help voters fill out the correct paperwork, take a picture of them and print a temporary card. Theyll get something from us right then and there, she said, explaining that a laminated card printed in Vidalia will then be mailed to them in approximately one week.
If for some reason you are not able to get a card before going to the polls, she said, the law allows those without proper ID to cast a provisional ballot anyway. But if you dont bring us back an ID within the next 48 hours, then (your vote) doesnt count, she cautioned.
Billups reminds voters that absentee voting is ongoing and will continue through July 14. Advance voting runs from July 10-14, she said.
Because new express poll machines will be in place for the first time during the July 18 primary, Billups urges people who do not want to wait in line to take advantage of advance voting. Were training people as we speak, but the process might be a little slow at first, she said. Its a good process, but it will take time (to get it down).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
WHAT YOU NEED TO GET A VOTER ID
1. A photo identity document, unless you have a nonphoto identity document showing both your full legal name and date of birth
2. Documentation showing your date of birth
3. Evidence that you are registered to vote in Georgia, either by voter precinct card; a new voter registration application or confirmation of voters record on the statewide voter registration system; or by verifying the original application in the voter registrars office
4. Documentation showing your name and principal residence address
Acceptable photo identity documents:
* Student ID card for public or private high school, college, university or vocational school
* Transit card
* Pilots license
* Nursing home ID card
* Employee ID card
* Government housing authority ID card
* Any government-issued license
* Any card accepted by local, state or federal government for access to buildings
Acceptable no-photo identity documents:
* Original birth certificate or certified copy of birth certificate
* Certificate of birth registration
* Voter registration application
* Copy of records filed in court by you or on behalf of your counsel
* Naturalization documentation
* Copy of marriage license application
* Copy of your state or federal tax return filed for the previous calendar year
* Any other document issued by local, state or federal government so long as the document provides a reasonably reliable confirmation of your identity
* Paycheck or pay stub with the imprinted name of your employer
* Original of the Social Security statement received by you for the current or preceding calendar year
* Hospital birth certificate
* Authenticated copy of a doctors record of post-natal care
* Federal affidavit of birth
If the principal form of ID does not show name and address, acceptable documents to prove residence include:
* Voter precinct card
* Utility or cable bill issued within the last 60 days
* Bank statement issued within the last 60 days for rent payments
* Copy of your state or federal income tax return filed for the preceding calendar year
* Homeowners insurance policy or bill for current or preceding calendar year
* Mortgage, payment coupon, deed, or property tax bill for current or preceding calendar year
* Current automobile registration receipt
* Homestead exemption documentation
* W-2 for preceding calendar year
IDs ACCEPTED AT THE POLLS
* A Georgia drivers license that was properly issued by the appropriate state agency
* A valid identification card issued by a branch, department, agency or entity of the state of Georgia, any other state, or the United States authorized by law to issue personal identification, provided that such identification card contains a photograph of the elector
* A valid United States passport
* A valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the elector and issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the United States government, this state, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
* A valid United States military identification card, provided that such identification card contains a photograph of the elector
* A valid tribal identification card containing a photograph of the elector
Any elector who registered for the first time in Georgia by mail and did not provide identification at the time of registering may provide one of the six items of photo identification listed above, or for the electors first time voting, may provide one of the following forms of identification: copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector.