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Common Cause Urges Repeal of State’s Voter ID Law

By Nicholas Andrews 
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Common Cause, a non partisan grassroots organization headquartered in Washington D.C., has issued a proclamation to Governor Robert Bentley addressing his administration’s decision to deny Alabamians access to essential state services. In the wake of the closing of 31 ALEA state driver license offices Common Cause is urging the Bentley administration to remove barriers from the franchise to vote so that all eligible citizens can participate in the election process.

Alabama has some of the strictest photo ID laws in the country and has made readily available forms of identification such as Social Security Cards and state issued birth certificates no longer valid forms of ID. To further compound the issue many citizens in low income rural areas, where the majority of the driver license offices were closed, lack adequate transportation to acquire proper identification they must have in order to vote. Alabama’s failure to properly provide access to voter ID could put the state in jeopardy of violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Just recently these changes effected approximately 250,000 to 500,000 Alabamians in the 2014 election year.

Since the announcement of the closures the Governor has received national media scrutiny and has decided to open all previous closed offices on a once a month basis but Common Cause wants to remind Gov. Bentley that it is his responsibility to ensure that state agencies abide by both state and federal law.

Common Cause is encouraging the Governor to convene the legislature in a special session to repeal the current voter ID law or at least propose an amendment to broaden the scope of what is acceptable identification. The organization acknowledges that the office closures were onset by budgetary reasons but the consequence of the closures and the ID law combined deny racial minorities their right to participate in the democratic process.

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Alabama currently has 3,625,249 total registered voters, and 2,000,957 of those voters have registered since Jan. 19, 2015.

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I will also work tirelessly to provide accountability to the taxpayers of Alabama.