The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is alleging that at least 282 ballots in the state’s June 3 primary election were not counted due to Alabama’s law requiring voters to show a valid photo identification card. In a letter dated today to Jean W. Brown, the Alabama Secretary of State’s chief legal adviser, the group raised concerns about disenfranchisement associated with the identification law during the primary election — the first statewide contest with the requirement. The organization obtained the figure after trying to contact election officials in each of Alabama’s 67 counties. Of the 49 counties that provided full or partial responses, the group determined that at least 282 voters “went uncounted solely due to the failure of otherwise eligible voters to provide ID,” according to the letter. The group’s figures included six in-person provisional ballots uncounted due to no photo identification and another 276 that were labeled as uncounted absentee ballots lacking an ID card.
The group notes that 122 ballots came from Jefferson County, 54 from Wilcox County, 43 from Macon County and 24 from Sumter County. Because those counties have “either majority or sizable Black populations, these records strongly suggest that the Voter ID Law had a disparate impact on Black people,” according to the letter.
The organization points to “widespread variations” with how counties implemented the voter identification law, “which doubtlessly has resulted in the illegal and unequal treatment of similarly situated persons.”