Common Cause v. Billups, 2005-2009
General Description: Voter ID
Summary of the Issues Involved: The Georgia legislature passed a bill requiring each voter who planned to cast a ballot in person to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Governor Sonny Perdue signed the bill into law, and the photo ID requirement was granted preclearance by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Georgia General Assembly also voted to raise the minimum cost for government-issued photo IDs. Plaintiffs filed this suit arguing the laws violated the Georgia Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by placing an undue burden on the right to vote, which the increased cost serving as a kind of poll tax. In 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily stopping enforcement of the laws, but ultimately decided against striking down the law. Ultimately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found a sufficient state interest in the voter identification law, and permitted the law to be entered into force.