Top Alabama officials say voters apparently will have to present photo identification at the polls in the next election. Gov. Robert Bentley, Secretary of State Beth Chapman and Attorney General Luther Strange said the Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday throwing out part of the federal Voting Rights Act means the state does not have to submit for preclearance a new law requiring voters to show photo identification. Strange said the voter identification law will be implemented immediately. Democratic state Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery said fears the photo ID law will be used to intimidate blacks and keep some elderly people from being able to vote. He said it’s the kind of thing that should be reviewed by the Justice Department. “This is a perfect example of why we need pre-clearance,” Holmes said. “The civil rights community had a bad day yesterday.” The governor, however, said he believes pre-clearance is no longer needed.
Alabama voters have been required to show some form of identification at the polls, but could present a variety of documents, like utility bills, that did not include a photograph,
Joe Reed, longtime head of the black caucus of the Alabama Democratic Party, said he expects to see a variety of Republican efforts to disenfranchise black voters because of the Supreme Court’s ruling. GOP leaders could now enforce voter identification rules, redraw district lines and switch polling locations to prevent blacks from voting, Reed said.
Full Article: Ala. officials say voter ID law can take effect – SFGate.