*Active political parties in Georgia are not limited to the Democratic and Republican parties. Libertarians, Greens, the Southern Party of Georgia, and others, run candidates in numerous elections. However, for the 2005-06 session of the General Assembly, only one legislator was not from the two major parties, and he did not run as a member of any other party.
^ Henry Howard died in office of a heart attack on October 3, 2005. A special election was held on November 8, 2005, to fill the seat, which was won by Rep. Howard's widow, Earnestine Howard. She was sworn in on November 17, 2005, and will serve out the remainder of her late husband's term of office.
House Bill 244 requires voters to provide photographic identification at polling locations in order to vote and makes voting by absentee ballot easier. Amid great controversy, the law was signed by Governor Perdue on April 22, 2005. Although the law received preclearance from the Department of Justice under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act, the law was later ruled unconstitutional by a court in Rome, Georgia. The current status of the law remains uncertain.
Senate Bill 84, like H.B. 244, requires photographic identification at poll locations to vote. To address some of the concerns raised by the court ruling against H.B. 244, S.B. 84 has more extensive provisions for assisting those without photographic identification to obtain acceptable identification. The bill was passed by both chambers and signed by Governor Perdue on January 26, 2006. Like H.B. 244, S.B. 84 received preclearance from the Justice Department, although it is currently being challenged in court.
House Bill 1313, which would restrict the uses for which private property can be taken via eminent domain, passed both the House and the Senate with no "no" votes. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Perdue.
House Resolution 1306 would amend the state constitution by replacing language allowing broad freedom to apply eminent domain with more restrictive language providing for additional restrictions as specified by laws such as H.B. 1313. The resolution passed the House and the Senate and was signed by Governor Perdue, and the question of its final adoption will be put to Georgia voters in the November election.
Senate Bill 529 was strongly advocated by Senator Chip Rodgers and requires beneficiaries of many state services to provide proof of residency. Most Democrats voted against the legislation, but it nevertheless passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Perdue on April 17, 2006.