The Alabama Legislature is notorious for providing solutions to problems that don’t exist. Requiring photo identification at the polls is one such example. There’s just been no compelling evidence of election fraud by voters who aren’t who they claim to be.
Yet in the waning hours of the 2011 legislative session, the Legislature approved a bill that will require voters to show photo identification at the polls before voting, with some exceptions. The bill takes effect with the 2014 elections.
… The Times is as big of an advocate for honest elections as anybody. There’s just something troubling, though, about having volunteer poll workers deciding whether a presented ID is, in fact, of the person offering it.
How many people look like their unflattering driver’s license picture? Or their grainy passport photo?
Will would-be voters be turned away because they don’t resemble their identification?
For years, voters were allowed to vote without proving their identification. Then-Gov. Fob James began the push for voter identification in the aftermath of the disputed race for chief justice and state treasurer in the 1994 elections involving fraudulent absentee ballots.
The resulting law requires IDs like library cards, birth certificates, Social Security cards or even a current utility bill showing the voter’s name and address, but no photo.
The photo ID requirement was a priority for Republican lawmakers, who took control of the Legislature in last year’s elections.
Opponents, led mainly by black lawmakers, argued the requirement would intimidate elderly black voters who lived through the days of racial injustices of poll taxes and literacy tests.
Full Article: Editorial: No need for a voter ID law | al.com.