A provision of Alabama’s voter identification law under fire expands access to the ballot and does not restrict it, the state argued in a filing last week. The measure in question, known as the “positively identify” provision, allows two election officials to give a person without proper identification the chance to vote, if the officials sign an affidavit swearing to the person’s identity. The provision forms the basis of a request to a federal judge from Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Alabama NAACP to suspend the state’s photo ID law for the March 1 primary. In a brief filed Jan. 8, attorneys for the plaintiffs argued the measure resembled Jim Crow-era voucher provisions “used for decades to discriminate against voters of color by subjecting their right to vote to ‘the passing whim or impulse’ of individual election officials.”
The positively identify provision went into effect in an earlier law in 2003. The challenged voter ID law, passed in 2011, included it.
The state rejected that argument in a 63-page filing Friday, saying the provision “is nothing like – and is the exact opposite of – these abhorrent practices of the past.” The filing called it a “fail-safe” that won approval from the Department of Justice in 2003.
Full Article: State: Voter ID law provision expands ballot access.