In Alabama, you need a driver’s license or other form of photo ID to vote. But getting that ID just got a lot harder, especially in the state’s majority-black counties.
Due to budget cuts, Alabama is closing 31 satellite DMVs across the state. The biggest impact will be in rural, largely black counties that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald put it this way:
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…
Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one.
Archibald predicted the move would invite a Justice Department investigation, as did his fellow columnist, Kyle Whitmire:
But put these two things together—Voter ID and 29 counties without a place where you can get one—and Voter ID becomes what the Democrats always said it was.
A civil rights lawsuit isn’t a probability. It’s a certainty.