Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) said this week that she suspects certain of the state’s business interests are working behind the scenes to kill her Voter ID legislation.
As The Georgia Star News reported Tuesday, that legislation, if enacted into law, would require non-U.S. citizens to have “BEARER NOT A U.S. CITIZEN — NOT VOTER ID” printed on their licenses, permits and/or identification cards. Byrd said State Rep. Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee) is working to block Byrd’s legislation in a Special Committee on Election Integrity subcommittee.
“Certainly no one has come to me specifically to oppose [this legislation]. I am going to guess the chambers of commerce,” Byrd said.
“I was asked at the very beginning to go and meet with the chamber of commerce to talk about my bill. I said that was not going to happen because I don’t think they should decide whether I drop a bill or not.”
When asked, Byrd said she was referring to officials at the Atlanta-based Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
“I assume that they think it [the bill] will stop Green Card people from coming into our state to work or anyone else that they are constantly talking about,” Byrd said.
Byrd went on to say that these business interests “are always talking about the employee shortage for the state of Georgia when we do these sorts of bills.”
No one at either the Georgia Chamber of Commerce or the Metro Atlanta Chamber returned The Star News’ requests for comment Tuesday.
Rich also did not return our request for comment Tuesday.
Byrd’s bill dies for the year if Rich’s efforts to keep it from moving out of subcommittee are successful.
“I thought the bill was going well,” Byrd said Monday.
“There were many people who signed onto the bill, and certainly anytime I have presented it at coffees in my district and sent it off to other areas, they seem to be quite supportive of it.”
Rich declined a phone interview Monday and instead emailed a statement saying that the Elections Integrity Committee chairman “sets the agenda for all sub-committees, not I.”
State Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) chairs the Special Committee on Election Integrity.
Rich went on to say that she does not think that Fleming “is incorrect for not setting down Rep. Byrd’s bill for a hearing in sub-committee.”
“Rep. Byrd’s bill does not add to election integrity, as the people she targets are not registered to vote,” Rich said.
“Her proposal would therefore be superfluous.”
Byrd said Rich emailed the same statement to her.
“I found her email rather odd since Fleming told me I should ask for a committee hearing before Representative Rich,” Byrd said Monday.
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