The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office is attempting to take its contentious voter ID law – enacted in 2011 – one step further by requiring a photo ID when requesting an absentee ballot. Why? Republicans, by and large, say it’s an extra measure to prevent voter fraud – something that is hard to track and very hard to prove. Democrats, however, aren’t convinced. Rep. Darrio Melton, D-Selma, said continuing to file bills to combat voter fraud is “playing to the politics of fear.” He filed a bill to let any registered voter cast an absentee ballot for any reason.
Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Montgomery, sponsored the absentee voter ID legislation on behalf of the Secretary of State. The bill, which exempts senior citizens, the disabled and military personnel, has about 20 Republican co-sponsors.
Alabama is one of only three states that require a photo ID to submit an absentee ballot. Kansas requires voters to provide the number of their valid Kansas driver’s license or photo ID when requesting an absentee ballot. In Texas, first time-voters have to submit a copy of their photo ID to turn in an absentee ballot.