For nearly three years, Alabama’s state and local officials have been preparing for the first election that will require voters to have photo identification — today’s statewide primary. The new law, passed by the state Legislature in 2011, requires that all voters show a photo ID at the polling place. But some say one of the alternative methods of confirming a voter’s identity is unconstitutional and racially discriminatory. If a voter doesn’t have one of the 10 accepted forms of ID at the polling place, the individual can vote if two poll officials can confirm the person’s identity.
The officials must sign an affidavit confirming the person’s identity and keep the record on file. The other option is to cast a provisional vote that will be counted if the voter presents a valid ID within five days of the election.
Emily Thompson, Alabama’s deputy Secretary of State, said the voter identification law defines the alternatives to voting without an ID on Election Day, but her office wrote the administrative rule that clarified the process.
A letter to her office from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund last week said the verification by poll workers violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Full Article: Some worry new voter ID requirement will cause problems.