Alabama’s new photo voter ID law will go into effect with the June 2014 primaries – now less than a year away — but the state has yet to submit the law for federal preclearance or to develop a free ID that is supposed to be available to voters. Alabama lawmakers in 2011 approved a law to require Alabamians – beginning with the party primaries in June of 2014 — to show photo identification in order to vote. The state has yet to submit the new law for preclearance with the U.S. Department of Justice so it can be used in next year’s elections.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Luther Strange said the state is waiting for the secretary of state’s office to develop rules for a new free voter ID that the 2011 state law requires to be made available for people who don’t have identification. A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Beth Chapman said a plan for the free IDs is under development.
“We are nearing the finalization of the development plan for photo voter ID. That information will be announced as soon as possible,” Chapman’s chief of staff Emily Thompson wrote in the email.
Thompson declined to elaborate on how the process for getting the free IDs would work.
“The photo voter ID law has not yet been precleared. We cannot announce or implement the process until it has been precleared. At that time we will do everything in our power to ensure that implementation will run as smoothly and effectively as possible,” Thompson said.