STUDY: 98.2% of Georgia Residents Already Have Voter IDs

By John Paluska, Founder of The Washington Gazette

As the MLB decides Georgia's voter-id laws are "racist," CNN reports that only 1.8% of Georgians lack voter IDs, meaning a staggeringly high 98.2% already have voter IDs. This flies in the face of the "new Jim Crow" narrative by the Democrats.

And studies in other states appear to show that Georgia's voter ID situation is likely on the worst side. In Texas, Journalist's Resource reports that 99.82% of Texas's 9 million voters have voter IDs, and of that 0.18% who didn't, most of them had identification and simply forgot it. 

Further, in Michigan, a state that does not require voter ID, official surveys show that between 99.4 - 99.9% of voters already have voter IDs. Meaning, even in a state where voter identification isn't necessary, the overwhelming majority of citizens still manage to get an ID.

But the narrative in Georgia falls apart when people realize it is completely free to get an ID in Georgia. Unlike other states, such as Virginia, Georgia gives away state identification for free to all residents. According to Georgia's own state government website:

What if I don't have one of the six acceptable forms of Photo ID?

  • The State of Georgia offers a free ID Card. An ID Card can be issued at any county registrar's office free of charge.

    • To receive a voter identification card at the county registrar's office, the voter must provide:

      • A photo identity document or approved non-photo identity document that includes full legal name and date of birth.

      • Documentation showing the voter's date of birth.

      • Evidence that the applicant is a registered voter.

      • Documentation showing the applicant's name and residential address.

So 98.2% of Georgians already own identification and the remaining 1.8% can get it without paying anything as long as they bring the required documentation. And the list of required documentation is rather lax compared to some states. In Virginia, to get an identification one must present 5 or 6 different documents that prove you live in Virginia and are a citizen of the U.S. and then they pay $2. In Georgia? Just your voter registration papers, birth certificate, your social security card. and your residential address. How much easier can it get?

Don't believe me? Here's the list of "approved non-photo identity documents" from the same government website:

You must present documents showing your identity, residential address, full social security number, and U.S. citizenship or proof of lawful status in the United States. Please refer to Real ID Requirements for more information.

What's particularly interesting, though, is that you don't even need a Georgia ID to vote in Georgia. You can use a passport, any Government ID at all that proves your Georgia address, an EXPIRED Georgia drivers license (who doesn't have one of those before they get their new one anyways?), or any other form of valid identification proving you live in Georgia. It's really very simple to vote in that state.

So those who claim this is the New Jim Crow have no idea what they're talking about. There is nothing stopping a Georgia resident from getting a voter ID. Virtually who lives in Georgia has an address and another form of identification proving they're a U.S. citizen. The Jim Crow voter laws added a series of special tests that didn't apply to white people. Georgia's law applies to everyone and makes it insanely easy to get an ID. This new law is one of the best voter fraud measures in the whole U.S. 

On this date—April 4—in 1887, a woman was elected mayor of a city for the very first time and under the strangest of circumstances. Until the polls opened on election day, she had no idea she was even on the ballot.

The city was Argonia, Kansas and her name was Susanna M. Salter. She was 27 years old. Women earned the right to vote in Kansas municipal elections just weeks before, and women’s suffrage generally would not be realized in the U.S. for another 32 years. The job of Argonia mayor paid an annual salary of just $1.00 (about $25 in today’s money). Critics panned her tenure as “petticoat rule.”

Born in Ohio in 1860, Susanna and her family moved to Kansas in 1872. By the early 1880s, she was married and an officer in the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union. The WCTU later played a major role in the passing of two Constitutional Amendments, the 18th (Prohibition of alcohol) and the 19th (women’s right to vote). Still in existence, its headquarters resides in Evanston, Illinois. This summer in Michigan it will hold its 148th national convention.

Argonia in 1887 was a tiny, sleepy Kansas town. Even today, it’s population is only 471. But 134 years ago, Susanna M. Salter raised quite a fuss and put the town on the map. Her home there is a registered national landmark today.

A group of men in town didn’t care for the idea of women in politics. As a prank, they arranged for Salter’s name to appear on the ballot as a candidate of the Prohibition Party for mayor. Oddly enough, back then the names on the ballot were not published until election day itself. The pranksters assumed Salter would lose in a landslide, thereby discouraging women from running for political office.

Historian Patricia Grimshaw writes:

Salter did not find out about the supposed joke until day of election, when the local Republican Party chairman sent a group of representatives to her house, where she was doing laundry, to see if she was actually running for office.

She was asked if she would serve as mayor if successfully elected, to which she replied “yes.” Perhaps buoyed by her enthusiasm, or simply not pleased with someone trying to de-legitimize the election process, the Republicans agreed to vote for Salter.

The local WCTU put the word out that April 4 morning that it too was endorsing Salter. She won with more than 60 percent of the vote.

The national press picked up the story and Salter quickly became a celebrity. She was certainly the first elected mayor of a city in America, but some claimed she was the first woman mayor in the world (I believe the more grandiose claim is probably true but am unable to confirm it). Technically, one Nancy Smith was elected mayor of Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1862 but she is usually left out of the picture because she declined to be sworn in.

When The New York Sun sent a reporter to Argonia to cover a city council meeting, Susanna’s fame only increased. She was apparently a very competent parliamentarian known for short meetings and tolerating no nonsense. (We could surely use more of her like today, though without the Prohibition stuff.)

Salter served one term and earned widespread respect for the job she did. Though largely forgotten today outside of Kansas, she undoubtedly helped women break the political glass ceiling. She died in 1961 at the ripe old age of 101.

Margaret Thatcher once said, “I don't think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime.” My guess is that in 1887, lots of people in Argonia, Kansas thought there wouldn’t be a woman mayor in their lifetimes. One thing history teaches us is that in the blink of an eye, it changes.

* This article was originally published here

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