Two white guys in Alabama are experts in racism…
Alabama might as well just send an invitation to the Justice Department. Come on in guys. Come on down.
No need to reply with an RSVP. Because we know you’ll be here. How could you resist?
Because Alabama just took a giant step backward.
Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters. That’s Macon, Greene, Sumter, Lowndes, Bullock, Perry, Wilcox, Dallas, Hale, and Montgomery, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Alabama, thanks to its budgetary insanity and inanity, just opted to close driver license bureaus in eight of them. All but Dallas and Montgomery will be closed.
Closed. In a state in which driver licenses or special photo IDs are a requirement for voting.
It’s not just a civil rights violation. It is not just a public relations nightmare. It is not just an invitation for worldwide scorn and an alarm bell to the Justice Department. It is an affront to the very notion of justice in a nation where one man one vote is as precious as oxygen. It is a slap in the face to all who believe the stuff we teach the kids about how all are created equal.
In 2011, Alabama lawmakers approved the state’s voter ID law, making it illegal to vote in Alabama without a government-issued photo ID.
For most folks, that’s a driver’s license.
In those 29 counties you might be able to register at the courthouse, but you won’t be able to cast a ballot there unless you have that ID.
That’s not just an inconvenience. That’s a problem.
But it gets worse.
Look at the list of counties now where you can’t get a driver’s license. There’s Choctaw, Sumter, Hale, Greene, Perry, Wilcox, Lowndes, Butler, Crenshaw, Macon, Bullock …
If you had to memorize all the Alabama Counties in 9th grade, like I did — and even if you forgot most of them, like I have — you can probably guess where we’re going with this.
Depending on which counties you count as being in Alabama’s Black Belt, either twelve or fifteen Black Belt counties soon won’t have a place to get a driver’s license.
Counties where some of the state’s poorest live.
Counties that are majority African-American.
Combine that with the federally mandated Star ID taking effect next year, and we’re looking at a nightmare.
Or a trial lawyer’s dream.
Sure, except this, from other AL.com reporting…
Merrill said state election officials “will issue (photo voter I.D. cards) on our own” at county Board of Registrars offices. “Every county has a Board of Registrars,” he said.
Merrill responded hours after the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) said it will close 31 part-time driver’s license offices because of an $11 million cut in the agency’s fiscal year 2016 budget. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1
An Alabama driver’s license is the identification most people will use when they go to the polls, Merrill agreed, but he said other forms of government-issued identification will also work, including the card issued at the Board of Registrars.
Merrill said his office will have brought its mobile I.D. van to every county in Alabama by Oct. 31. He said the van will return to counties when requested. “If they can’t go to the board of registrars, we’ll bring a mobile crew down there,” Merrill said.
Good job, white liberal columnist at AL.com, keep up the horrible work.