Civil rights groups are again challenging a federal judge’s ruling that an Alabama law requiring a government-issued photo ID for voting is not discriminatory. Legal counsel for the Alabama NAACP, Greater Birmingham Ministries and minority voters filed an appeal in the U.S. district court in northern Alabama on Wednesday. Since 2014, Alabama has required voters to show government-issued photo identification when they vote. The civil rights groups sued over the law in 2015, calling it discriminatory and an infringement on voting rights. They contended Alabama politicians knew when they enacted it that black and Latino voters “disproportionately lack the required photo ID.”
U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler ruled in favor of the state in January. He concluded that the state makes provisions to help voters get IDs, including a mobile service that will make home visits if needed.
Natasha Merle, NAACP’s Legal and Education Defense Fund assistant counsel, told The Associated Press that the court erred in depending on the mobile service to register all voters.
“The district court acknowledged our evidence that over 100,000 voters, disproportionately Black and Latino voters, lack the required photo ID to vote, but suggested the disparities are not significant,” Merle said. “The disenfranchisement of several thousand voters is not trivial. We will continue to fight to ensure every eligible Alabama voter can make their voice heard at the ballot box.”