A bill scheduled to appear in an Alabama House committee next Wednesday would move the registration cut-off date for an election from 14 days prior to the election to 30 days. The legislation follows a law passed last year that moved the cut-off date from 10 days before an election to 14 days. Supporters of that proposal said the state’s registrars needed the additional time to complete all the paperwork necessary for an election, but critics said the goal of the bill was to limit access to the ballot for poor and minority voters. Those arguments will return in the current debate.
“We’ve got to be consistent,” said Rep. Jack Williams, R-Birmingham, the sponsor of the legislation. “We have to accommodate folks who have greater needs. 30 days is something that’s absolutely essential in Jefferson County and some of the other larger areas.”
The Legislative Black Caucus has consistently opposed bills that move the voting registration date, calling such efforts an attempt to erode voting rights.
“It seems almost ironic or embarrassing that someone would introduce a bill like that as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Selma,” said Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery. “For members of this legislature to continue to try to introduce bills that just make it more difficult to vote — it’s hypocritical.”
Full Article: Bill would push back Alabama voter registration deadline.