George Beck, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, says Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley could do more to address concerns about the closing of 31 drivers’ license offices, mainly in rural communities around the state, than just re-opening them one day a week. But Beck didn’t put all the blame on Bentley for the DMV closings in the first place. He said the Alabama Legislature threw the department that runs the DMV offices “under the bus” in this year’s budget. Beck said he plans to meet with Bentley in the coming days to discuss the DMV closures. He said in making his plea to the governor he wants to “make certain that any people, of any race, in any county, are not denied the right to register to vote.”
Beck noted that Bentley has taken action to re-open the offices once a month but he believes that’s not enough. “We think he can take more (action),” Beck said. “As a citizen of Alabama, in my opinion they ought to return to the status quo and find somewhere else to make the cuts.”
Beck, however, said he doesn’t blame Bentley entirely. “I feel like the legislature threw ALEA under the bus,” he said, referring to this year’s budget.
Bentley had announced the closing of the offices in the wake of deep budget cuts. Another federal prosecutor in Alabama also has been looking at the closure of the DMV offices.