By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler issued a 69-page ruling Wednesday dismissing a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s Photo ID Law. This ruling came as a result of a lawsuit that was filed by the Alabama NAACP and the Greater Birmingham Ministries which charged that the Photo ID Law was created with a racially discriminatory purpose and violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.
Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) said in a statement, “Today’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit is without a doubt the right decision. Alabama’s voter identification law is one of the broadest in the nation with procedures in place to allow anyone who does not have a photo ID to obtain one. The court order makes this point exceedingly clear: ‘…a person who does not have a photo ID today is not prevented from voting if he or she can easily get one, and it is so easy to get a photo ID in Alabama, no one is prevented from voting.’”
“I am proud of the hard work of my Constitutional Defense attorneys who spent the last 15 months traveling this state interviewing dozens of witnesses including local election officials and private citizens who have fought voter fraud,” AG Marshall said. “Each of these individuals who volunteered their time to assist the State in gathering the facts deserves special recognition and our gratitude.”
Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill (R) said that he is excited to announce the ruling Judge Coogler.
“This ruling adds to the growing consensus from people all over the state and nation that we should begin to look to Alabama as a leader in the area of free, fair, and secure elections,” Merrill said in a statement.
The Secretary of Stat’s office said in a statement that, “Secretary Merrill has tirelessly to ensure that every Alabamian has access to a Photo ID and that Alabama’s only goals when it comes to the administration of elections are to ensure that every Alabamian has access to participate in a secure elections process. The Judge indicated in his ruling that, “it is so easy to get a Photo ID in Alabama, no one is prevented from voting.””
Judge Coogler went on to assert that the ways in which Secretary Merrill has implemented the Photo ID Law provide proof that Secretary John H. Merrill is committed to ensuring every eligible Alabamian is afforded the opportunity to participate in the electoral process and to determine the people that represent them at the local, state, and federal level.
Anyone who does not have a valid photo ID, can obtain one from the Alabama Secretary of State’s web site for free.
The state of Alabama routinely suppressed Black citizens’ voting rights well into the 1960s.
The state’s photo ID law was passed to make it harder to vote fraudulently.