Judge Throws Out Challenge To Alabama Voter ID Law

Lester Mason
January 13, 2018

Secretary of state John Merrill is celebrating a federal judge's decision on voter ID laws for Alabama.

The lawsuit was one of the latest battles between voting rights advocates who say these measures are aimed at suppressing voter turnout and conservative states that argue they're needed to prevent voter fraud.

The lawsuit specifically targeted House Bill 19 of 2011, which requires absentee and in-person voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a regular ballot. Among the types of photo identification allowed under the law are IDs from colleges/universities, employers and unexpired driver's licenses. The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, Greater Birmingham Ministries and minority voters sued over the law in 2015, calling it discriminatory and an infringement on voting rights. (A Republican supermajority in the legislature passed the law, and black voters overwhelmingly vote Democratic in Alabama).

Coogler found that "even though Black and Latino registered voters are nearly twice as likely as white voters to lack an acceptable photo ID, no one is prevented from voting". In response, Secretary of State John Merrill argued "that the Photo ID Law was not passed with a discriminatory objective but was passed to combat voter fraud, increase voter confidence, and to modernize elections, all policies held by the Supreme Court to be legitimate and furthered by a photo ID law". The case was dismissed and left the photo ID law intact. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said Friday that it filed a notice of appeal.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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