Voter ID and Alabama’s Budget Mess
Budget cuts mean it is now harder to get an ID in much of Alabama.
Remember how in various debates here at OTB about voter ID laws and how they weren’t a big deal (according to some) because it is just so gosh darn easy to get an ID?
Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters. That’s Macon, Greene, Sumter, Lowndes, Bullock, Perry, Wilcox, Dallas, Hale, and Montgomery, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Alabama, thanks to its budgetary insanity and inanity, just opted to close driver license bureaus in eight of them. All but Dallas and Montgomery will be closed.
Closed. In a state in which driver licenses or special photo IDs are a requirement for voting.
Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one.
As I have stated before: I am not opposed, in theory, to requiring an ID to vote–but only if such IDs are universal and free to all citizens. This is rather that opposite of that (and it undercuts all those who scoffed at the idea that getting an ID is equally easy for all citizens).
It is true that these are sparsely populated areas of the state, but that does not mitigate the fact that it is now far more difficult for many citizens in the state to get their IDs (and, as noted, these are poor and predominantly black citizens).