Voter suppression act two: closing driver's license offices in Alabama's Black Belt


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Rolling back the clock, by whatever means possible, to pre-1965 is Heritage, not Hate.


#3

It’s all part of a long con. A very long and concerted con.


#4

Just to be fair, the law can’t actually require a driver’s license instead of a state ID, right?

I certainly also believe that requiring just a state ID to vote is unduly burdensome, and this is clear discrimination against a group that votes for the political opponents of the people making these rules. In-person voter fraud is clearly an insignificant problem. But the barrier here, while undue and damned malicious, is not quite as high a bar as taking a road test.


#5

Absolutely disgraceful. Voter ID laws alone are bad enough. Add this to it and you are clearly trying to suppress a group of people’s opinions. This would be true regardless of the group, but it is especially egregious against a group of people that is already treated so unfairly. The nation has already made it clear that black lives don’t seem to be as important as white ones, so a Bible Belt state doing something like this shouldn’t surprise me. Still, as a white male living in the Bible Belt, I am ashamed.


#6

I just wanted to point out that Alabama (like most states) offers ID cards. You still have to get them from the DMV, but there’s no other requirements. If you have a pulse you can get one.

It’s still a colossal bullshit burden on the people it effects, but the article dwells quite heavily on the driver’s license requirement and the being able to drive portion isn’t actually a requirement.


#7

Just wondering if there’s any proof that those offices were shut down because of where they were.
Budget cuts, non-productive offices and so on can close a a DMV office down quick.

But someone has to stir that pot so have at it folks.


#8

Just wondering if you had a look at that map of Alabama, and considered it in terms of racial demographics…


#9

@ElQuesero and @xzzy are correct that a driving test is NOT required to get a state ID. They’re also both correct that these laws still suck. The ID costs $36.25 to get and to renew every four years and you have to present a Social Security card and a couple other forms of ID (most likely including a certified copy of your birth certificate, which costs another $15 if you don’t already have one) to get your initial ID card.


#10

Absolutely right. It doesn’t help things when the internet outrage machine gets busy with every false positive. Just to be clear: the DMV offices are not closing. They are going to quit offering the driver’s test, but you can vote with a non-driving picture ID. They’re not making it harder to vote, only harder to drive.

There’s plenty of shameful voter suppression. If you want to do something about it, focus on cases that are real.


#11

Driver’s license is not required, but is one of the 12 forms of ID (including student ID from a within-state public or private college or university) that are accepted for voting.
Contrary to the article linked, the offices that issue the free “voter ID” photo cards are run by a completely different division of the government and not affected at all according to all reports I’ve seen – there is at least one in every county, along with roving mobile offices that set up on pre-announced dates in pre-announced places.emphasized text


#13

There is a free “voter ID card” available in all the same places that one would register to vote, and copies of AL birth & marriage certificates are free for the purpose of getting such ID.
http://www.alabamavoterid.com/getFreePhotoVoterID.aspx


#14

I feel like it is a minor, but important, distinction to note that the term “Black Belt” does not refer to any racial demographics there, but rather refers to the rich, black topsoil found in those regions.
This may be common knowledge, but just in case… :slight_smile:


#15

They’re not even trying to be coy about it. AND they’re getting away with it. What has this country come to?


#16

That’s not exactly right. It’s actually pretty difficult for poor people, because state IDs require multiple proofs of identity, address, etc. which are not always available to everyone. If you don’t have a bank account, that’s a biggie. Utility bills are not in your name at your address? Oh well.


#17

Cause their base (and they are base in every way) don’t want the ‘brown’ people to vote or have rights. They think the ‘white’ man should be on top.

My view on it. You have a valid state or federal ID? Vote away! If you vote against your own interest, that’s on you, but you will still have the right to vote.


#18

Okay, but why even insist on an ID? Such a legal requirement functions (often quite purposefully) to discourage large blocks of black people from voting. The risk of voter fraud is infintesimally small – the idea that it’s an election-swinging threat is a conservative canard. And part of the reason that the risk of voter fraud is so small is that the risks for committing it are huge:

In Alabama, voter fraud is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine. In Wisconsin, the punishment is up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Missouri imposes a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. And in Texas, the maximum prison sentence is 10 years.


#19

Alabama has 67 counties. I just did some quick checking and 8 of the 15 counties that went to Obama in 2012 have drivers licence offices closed down. In total 30 counties have drivers licence offices closed down, and a couple of those counties had multiple offices to begin with. That means that 22 of the 52 counties that went to Romney in 2012 will also be disenfranchised in 2016. I love a conspiracy theory as much as the other guy…but I don’t think this one holds water.


#20

Thank you for that.


#21

I’ve heard many claims that poor people are less likely to have photo IDs than others. It sounds rational but I have yet to see any facts. Can any of you point me at statistics putting numbers to this theory?