The Columbus Consolidated Government is launching a voter ID initiative this week that is unique in this state, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Elections Director Nancy Boren announced.
The plan, the first of its kind in Georgia, will provide voters easier access to a voter ID card, which will allow voters who do not have other approved state-issued identification to vote.
For the next three Saturdays, personnel from Boren's office will have a station at the main public library on Macon Road to allow voters to apply for one of the cards, if they need one. Voters who already have a state ID card or driver's license cannot get a voter ID card, nor do they need one.
The initiative also offers voters a chance to check their registration status, which may have lapsed without their knowledge.
"Many voters don't realize that if they have not voted in several election cycles -- like 6-8 years -- they are listed as 'dormant' on our roles and won't be allowed to vote," Boren said, adding that the dormant status can't be corrected Election Day, but it can in advance.
Boren also stressed that a voter does not need to have the voter ID card to vote.
It is only a valid substitute for a driver's license or state-issued ID.
If you have one of those, she said, you don't need the voter ID.
Tomlinson said recent changes in requirements to get a state-issued ID are one reason she and Boren came up with the plan to make it easier to get a voter ID.
"Voting is one of our most sacred rights," Tomlinson said.
"In light of the complaints of long lines and confusing new standards for a picture ID at the Department of Driver Services, Nancy and I decided to make it easy for voters to ensure their eligibility."
Voters wishing to get an ID or check their registration status don't have to go to the library for one of the three sessions, Boren said.
They can come to the Elections and Registration office at the Government Center downtown Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The office is on the ground floor of the west wing of the Government Center.
Oct. 9 is the deadline to register for the November General Election.