People are trickling into the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building to get new voter identification cards before the July 18 primary elections.
The county Board of Elections office started issuing the cards to registered voters Monday, said Lynn Bailey, the board's director.
She said 12 cards were issued Monday and two were issued Wednesday. The office was closed Tuesday for Independence Day.
The Georgia Board of Elections gave the go-ahead last week for local elections boards to issue the free IDs for use at the polls July 18.
Georgia's new voter ID law requires voters to present a government-issued ID card at the polls.
The law was cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice in June. The 1965 Voting Rights Act requires Georgia and several other states to get the department's clearance on laws affecting voting.
Only people who don't have any other form of approved identification, such as a driver's license or an ID issued by the Department of Driver Services, are eligible for the free voter card.
Mrs. Bailey said the cards also will be issued at the Municipal Building during advance voting, which starts Monday, allowing people to apply for the ID and vote in the same visit.
Temporary ID cards are issued using a laptop computer, Web camera and printer. A vendor in Albany, Ga., receives the information and makes the permanent card.
The Henry Brigham Community Center on Golden Camp Road and the Warren Road Recreation Center will be open for advance voting from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mrs. Bailey said.
People who participate in advance voting, unlike those who cast regular absentee ballots, do not have to give a reason for voting early.
Voter turnout for the primaries is expected to be between 20 percent and 24 percent, Mrs. Bailey said.
Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET A VOTER ID
People without any other form of acceptable identification, such as a driver's license, are eligible for a free voter ID. They can be obtained from the Richmond County Board of Elections, Room 104, at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building, 530 Greene St., Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office will be open until 6 p.m. July 10-14 for the advance voting week.
- A Georgia driver's license (expired licenses are acceptable for voting purposes)
- A Georgia voter identification card issued by a county board of elections
- A valid identification card issued by a branch, agency or entity of Georgia government, any other state or the U.S. (for example, a college ID issued by a public university)
- A valid U.S. passport
- A valid employee ID card with a photograph of the voter and issued by any department or agency of government
- A valid U.S. military identification card with a photo of the voter
- A tribal photo identification card
Sources: Richmond County Board of Elections; Georgia Secretary of State