Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and Secretary of State Beth Chapman are quickly taking action to require voter ID statewide in Alabama for the June 2014 primaries and the November general election.
Their action takes place only days after the June 25 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to nullify Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The new requirement will mean voters must present a photo ID in future elections to vote.
Voters may use a valid driver’s license, non-driver photo ID, photo employee cards issued by the state of Alabama or the federal government, and military IDs and passports. Some of the ID require that the voter pay money to acquire the ID.
As usual, the state officials point to voter fraud as the reason for the new law. Interestingly, the new concern of voter fraud comes with little justification or proof that voter fraud is or was a widespread problem in the state of Alabama.
“Here in Jefferson County we haven’t had a single incident where the district attorney was pursuing a voter fraud case in the 25 years,” said Alabama Probate Alan John King said, as reported by WBRC in Alabama.
”It’s going to discourage a lot of people from voting. A lot of older people don’t have that (photo ID), in particular older blacks,” Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, said.
Meanwhile in Washington at the Brookings Institution, 23 experts, scholars and advocates participated in a six hour discussion on the Supreme Court’s decision last week on Section 4 and the case of Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder.
Participants included Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Spencer Overton, Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, Thomas Saenz, President of the Mexican American Legal Defense, Julie Fernandes, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundations, Abigail Thernstrom, Vice-Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Kareem Crayton, Associate Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law and Dale Ho, Director, ACLU Voting Rights Project.