The Alabama Senate passed a bill 22-10 Thursday that would require voters to present photo identification at the polls. In a brief debate — limited to about 20 minutes by Senate leadership — supporters described the bill as a way to provide security to a crucial part of the democratic process.
“When you go to a convenience store, boarding a plane, or going to a courthouse, you have to show photo ID,” said Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, a supporter of the bill.
Opponents of the bill questioned the cost of implementing it in a year of budget hardship. Allen said the bill would cost the state approximately $250,000 in new equipment. One critic of the bill, Sen. Tammy Irons, D-Florence, said the bill would likely cost more in advertising to get the word out about the ID requirement.
Allen said the cost could be offset by running low-cost public service announcements.
“I think the word’s going to get out,” Allen said. “This is going to be talked about.”
Sen. Priscilla Dunn, D-Bessemer, said people like her mother, who is now in a nursing home, would be prohibited from voting.
“She is not able to leave her nursing home to get a non-driver’s license ID,” Dunn said.
“If it weren’t for elderly people voting, a lot of us wouldn’t be here in this chamber,”
Full Article: Anniston Star – Voter ID bill passes Alabama Senate.