More than 100,000 registered voters in Alabama can’t vote because they don’t have the photo identification required by the state, an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said Friday. And most of those who don’t have the photo identifications are poor, black or Latino, the lawyer says. A federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s requirement that voters present photo identification before they can cast a ballot was filed in 2015 on behalf of the Alabama NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries. The lawsuit alleges the 2011 photo ID law is racially discriminatory, violating the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A trial has been set for December in the case.
The Alabama attorney general’s office, which represents Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill in the lawsuit, declined comment Friday.
“Plaintiffs’ (the NAACP LDF and ministries) recently submitted expert reports estimated that over 100,000 Alabama registered voters lack photo IDs that can be used to vote and that black and Latino voters are nearly twice as likely as white voters to lack such IDs,” said Deuel Ross, a lead LDF attorney.