After Alabama passed a law requiring voters to have a photo ID to cast a ballot, a nefarious plan to close driver’s licenses offices in many majority black counties in the state was announced. According to an impeachment investigation into Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, that scheme was hatched by the governor’s mistress, Rebekah Mason, who wanted to roll out the plan in a way that wouldn’t unduly harm her lover’s political allies. When they announced the plan to shut those offices, Alabama officials touted it as a cost savings. How much would it save? $200,000. AL.com reports that $200,000 would be “an extremely small savings in a General Fund that typically has annual shortfalls ranging from $100 million to $200 million.” But if disenfranchisement is the goal, a paltry $200,000 saved is not a deterrent. Actually, if disenfranchisement is the goal, then the amount saved is irrelevant.
According to the impeachment report, Mason – nicknamed Flim Flam by the rest of the governor’s staff – was leading the governor around by the nose. According to the impeachment report, “the Bentley-Mason relationship evolved to the point that nothing could be done in the Office without Mason’s sign-off.” That press secretary stated that “Governor Bentley’s typical reaction to any advice given without Mason present was, ‘What does Rebekah think about it?'”
Well, apparently Rebekah thought it would be just swell for Alabama to shut down driver’s license bureaus in majority black counties after a photo ID became a necessity for voting. Secretary of Alabama Law Enforcement Spencer Collier, who the report says “ultimately assented to the closure plan” was concerned enough about it that he told the state’s Attorney General’s office that he thought it may represent a violation of the Voting Right Acts.