October 18, 2005

Congressman Conyers Commends Injunction Against Georgia Voter ID Law

Conyers Commends Decision to Bar Georgia's Voter ID Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee issued the following statement regarding U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy's decision to issue a preliminary injunction preventing Georgia from enforcing its new voter identification law as being "an unconstitutional poll tax"

"Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect.

During their day, poll taxes and literacy tests, which were also said to protect against fraud and breed confidence in elections, as the Georgia law purports to do, had the direct effect of erecting a barrier to minority voters. The Georgia law would prevent our most vulnerable communities, the minority, the poor, and the elderly, from voting. All Americans, regardless of race, economic status, or age are entitled to the most fundamental right of our democracy, the right to vote.

Just this afternoon, the Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. As we work to establish a record for reauthorization, today's decision barring Georgia's new voter ID law serves as evidence as to how crucial the Voting Rights Act is to ensuring that all of our citizens participate in the political process."

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