The Alabama state official in charge of overseeing elections insisted that the closure of 31 driver’s license offices — many in majority black counties — will not get in the way of residents’ ability to vote in a state the requires government-issued photo IDs at the ballot box.
“The closure of 31 DMV offices will not leave citizens without a place to receive the required I.D. card to vote,” said Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill said in a statement Thursday. He pointed to the free state-issued voter ID cards that residents can apply for if they do no have any of the other approved photo IDs.
“All 67 counties in Alabama have a Board of Registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards. If for some reason those citizens are not able to make it to the Board of Registrars, we’ll bring our mobile I.D. van and crew to that county,” the statement said. “By October 31 our office will have brought the mobile I.D. van to every county in Alabama at least once. One of the most fundamental rights we as Americans are afforded is our right to vote. As Alabama’s Secretary of State and Chief Elections Official, I will do everything within my power to ensure every Alabamian is able to exercise their right to vote.”
Alabama passed a stricter version of its voter ID law in 2011 and put it into effect in 2014.