Sen. Troy Fraser says his bill requiring voters to present identification was a response to the 2005 Carter-Baker Commission which recommended a uniform voter photo ID. He says that commission found evidence of voter fraud, including voter impersonation.
Despite Democratic fears that the bill would repress voter interest, Fraser said that Indiana -- which requires Voter ID -- saw the fifth largest increase in Democratic voting participation in the nation, a far bigger increase than Barack Obama's home state, Illinois, in the 2008 election.
Eddie Lucio says that Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker wrote an op-ed in the New York Times saying they did not believe a Voter ID should be used unless universal registration (which allows all eligible voters to remain on the rolls permanently) is also implemented.
Fraser responds he's seen contradictory opinions expressed by Carter and Baker since that column appeared: "I don't now what to say except that my story is newer than yours."
Kirk Watson helps out: Didn't Carter and Baker say they believe everyone should be given a uniform Voter ID so there's no discrimination? Georgia's was discriminatory, they believed, because it required them to pay for their uniform Photo ID. Watson says Fraser's bill creates additional requirements for people who are eligible under current standards.
Fraser: If voters don't have a driver's license, they have a long laundry list of things they can use to prove they are who they say they are. Every person who walks in to vote will be allowed to vote. No one will leave the voting place without voting. (They'll cast a provisional vote, then have to come back with proper documentation.)
Watson: Do you have any racial data for voters without driver's licenses?
Fraser: No. But he promises that voting officials from Georgia will testify that very few of that state's voters don't have driver's licenses. "What I am hoping to do is have facts speak for themselves."
Watson: Only education requirements in the bill is a mandate to put the information on voting registration websites?
Fraser: The Senate will be sympathetic to the need to provide funding for education of voters and polling officials.
Watson: So you anticipate there will be a fiscal note on this bill?
Ah, those pesky fiscal notes.
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