Noting foreign status on drivers licenses and official ID would be a “scarlet letter…”
Rep Bonnie Rich has lost the race in the Republican Primary for the newly redrawn House District 100 seat. Rich, chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus, has represented House District 97 for the last four legislative sessions was beaten by state Rep. David Clark who is the (pre-redistricting) House District 98 representative.
A carefully protected favorite of Speaker David Ralston, Rep Rich is best known to pro-enforcement advocates as the lead opposition to HB 228 sponsored by Cherokee County Rep Charlice Byrd.
HB 228 was a simple, “belt and suspenders” bill that addresses voter ID security and the drivers licenses and ID Cards Georgia issues to foreigners here as immigrants, guest workers, foreign students – and about twenty thousand illegal aliens with DACA protection. These credentials are labeled “LIMITED TERM” and almost exactly the same as the ones commonly issued to U.S. citizens. Not many people, including most legislators, have any clue what “LIMITED TERM” means. Explanation: the valid term of the credential is timed to expire when the holders visa or “green card” runs out or renews.
HB 228 also addressed the startling fact that there is nothing in state law that says these ID documents are excluded from acceptance as “proper identification” for voting purposes.
HB 228 also required the warning “BEARER NOT U.S. CITIZEN – NOT VOTER ID” to be added to the front of the LIMITED TERM credentials. Also, as mail-in vote security, the Department of Driver Services would begin a system in which the first two characters of the drivers license/ID Card numbers be “NC” on the cards issued to non-citizens. We would catch up with Alabama on that one.
Related: Popular “no-brainer” election integrity legislation, HB 228, apparently dead under the Gold Dome
HB 228 died without a 2022 hearing or committee vote. In the process of killing the measure, the members of the House Special Committee on Election Integrity revealed a troubling lack of knowledge on the identity credentials Georgia issues and related immigration basics. Rich criticized the bill with the explanation that noting foreign status on ID credentials would be a “scarlet letter” for immigrants.
Rep Clark may present problems for pro-enforcement Georgians. He introduced a bill (HB 920) in the 2019-2020 session that would have allowed illegal aliens to access instate tuition in Georgia’s public colleges. Clark’s bill was not limited to illegal aliens with DACA status. We will watch to see if Clark, a member of the Georgia “Freedom Caucus,” submits similar legislation in the coming 2023-2024 legislative session.
Rich was endorsed in the race by House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones (R), the second highest ranking member of the Georgia House.
*Updated 26 May with a blurb from the liberal AJC:
Ralston nemesis ousts colleague, but most lawmakers cruise in primary
“Buford state Rep. David Clark has been a pain in House Speaker David Ralston’s backside in recent years, and Tuesday he delivered another blow.
Clark ousted Rep. Bonnie Rich, R-Suwanee, in the Republican primary for the newly drawn House District 100 in Gwinnett, Forsyth and Hall counties. Rich chaired the House Redistricting Committee that drew the district maps.
Most incumbents cruised to easy wins on Tuesday in the new districts, which were drawn last year in such a partisan way that the candidate who wins the primary will likely win in the November general election as well.” Here.