A bill to require absentee voters to show photo ID before getting absentee ballots won approval from the House Constitutions and Elections Committee on Wednesday, advancing to the full House for a vote. “We’re just trying to make sure there isn’t any room for fraud,” said Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Montgomery, who sponsored the bill. Alabama passed one of the country’s strictest voter ID laws in 2011, requiring voters to show photo ID when they show up at the polls. Under that law, absentee voters must also provide a copy of their photo ID when they send their vote in to be counted.
Ingram’s bill would also require photo ID when voters request absentee ballots. At present, election officials have no idea who’s really getting a blank ballot when it’s requested, Ingram said.
“There are so many of them out there that we think are fraud,” he said. When callers ask for ballots, he said, “you’ve got a live ballot out there with your name on it” and no guarantee it’s in the right hands.
Critics of the bill said it would unnecessarily burden voters — especially people in nursing homes — by requiring them to present photo ID twice.