3:56 pm May 5, 2009, by Aaron Gould Sheinin
Gov. Sonny Perdue on Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 86, which requires anyone registering to vote beginning Jan. 1 to produce proof of U.S. citizenship first.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Cecil Staton (R-Macon) and Rep. James Mills (R-Gainesville), would require would-be voters to submit a driver’s license, birth certificate, U.S. passport, U.S. naturalization documents or Bureau of Indian Affairs card before being allowed to register.
“Georgia’s election procedures, including the registration process, are a model for security and protection of every vote,” Secretary of State Karen Handel said of the new law. Handel was a major supporter of the legislation.
According to Handel, the bill was modeled after an existing Arizona law, which has already been precleared by the U.S. Justice Department. Georgia, as a Voting Rights state, must submit any change in voting laws to the federal government for approval before it can take effect.
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