More than 400 lacked photo ID in primary

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ATLANTA --- Just more than 400 Georgians lacked photo IDs in the Feb. 5 presidential primary, which drew a record number of voters to the polls.

The election was the stiffest test so far of the state's voter ID law, which critics have complained could disenfranchise poor, elderly and minority voters who lack photo IDs.

Elections officials reported Thursday that 416 Georgia voters were forced to cast provisional ballots because they lacked the needed photo ID. Of those, 120 returned with an acceptable ID in time for their ballots to count, officials said.

Under Georgia's law, those who don't have a photo ID at the ballot box have 48 hours to return with one for their vote to count.

Secretary of State Karen Handel said Thursday that her office received no photo ID-related complaints on election day. She chalked that up, in part, to an outreach effort her office targeted at voters most likely to be without photo IDs.

"Our Elections Division is going to reach out to every voter who cast a provisional ballot to make sure they know how to obtain a free voter ID card," Ms. Handel said Thursday.

Slightly more than 2 million ballots were cast Feb. 5. That's 45 percent of the state's 4.5 million active registered voters. The previous turnout record -- 40 percent -- was in 1988.

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JimCox 02/15/08 - 07:30 am
A record 2,024,392 votes were

A record 2,024,392 votes were cast in Georgia, ultimately 296 provisional voters could not produce an acceptable form of identification and their votes were rejected. Hopefully there is a program to issue them a free state I.D. card. The results from the 2008 Presidential Preferential Primary should put an end to the photo I.D. objections.

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