Voter ID ad campaign planned to help with Georgia election law

09/29/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - Fulton County Poll worker Dian Rodriguez-Harrison uses an electronic device to check a voter in at the polling site located at Fanplex in AtlantaÕs Summerhill community, Tuesday, September 29, 2020.  (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
Caption
09/29/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - Fulton County Poll worker Dian Rodriguez-Harrison uses an electronic device to check a voter in at the polling site located at Fanplex in AtlantaÕs Summerhill community, Tuesday, September 29, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Free voter IDs available at driver’s license offices

Georgia’s government is soon launching radio ads, local newspaper announcements and print brochures to promote free ID cards for voters who need them to cast a ballot.

The marketing campaign is funded by $250,000 budgeted by the Georgia General Assembly last spring along with the state’s new voting law, which requires state ID cards or other documents to cast an absentee ballot.

The public information effort will start in October and focus on letting Georgians know they can obtain free voter identification cards through the Department of Driver Services.

House Speaker David Ralston said he sought the funding to address concerns that not all voters have a state ID. About 272,000 of Georgia’s 7.7 million registered voters lack an ID number linked to their voter information, according to state election records.

“It’s not only increasing security levels, but also making voting more accessible,” said Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge. “And this is one more way we can do that.”

ExploreHow Georgia’s voting law works

The Department of Driver Services also plans to provide information about voter IDs at community centers, food banks, senior centers and libraries.

About $200,000 will go toward ads on local radio, including a potential sponsorship of Braves games, along with ads in local newspapers and through social media. The remaining $50,000 would pay for brochures, posters and mailing costs.

The state’s voting law passed last spring requires voters to submit a driver’s license number, state ID number or a copy of another form of ID when requesting and returning an absentee ballot. Georgia has required all in-person voters to present photo ID since 2008.

Free voter ID cards are available at any Department of Driver Services office with proof of identification documents. Offices are closed every Monday and open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

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