Skip to comments.Federal Judge Upholds Alabama Voter ID Law
Posted on 01/17/2018 2:28:37 PM PST by FreedomPoster
A federal judge in Alabama has thrown out a lawsuit against the states voter ID law, finding that the law doesnt prevent anyone from voting because nearly the entire population of registered voters in Alabama already possess a photo ID that can be used for voting.
For those who dont, obtaining a qualifying ID can be done with little to no effort and no cost.
In 2011, the Alabama legislature passed a photo ID requirement for both in-person and absentee voting. The law was enacted in an effort to strengthen voter confidence and to reduce the potential for voter fraud in the state.
The Alabama law accepts seven different types of ID, including an Alabama driver/non-drivers license, a photo ID card issued by any state or the federal government, a U.S. passport, a student or employee ID, a military ID card, or a tribal ID card.
Voters can obtain a voter ID card from the state for freesomething that as of fall of 2017, only 33 voters in the entire state had requested. And voters who need a birth or marriage certificate to get an ID can get those for free, too.
In addition, even if voters show up at a voting booth without an ID, they can still vote if two elections officials at the polling place positively identify them.
Those voting absentee are required to include a photocopy of their photo ID (in a separate envelope) when they mail in their ballot. Individuals without an ID can vote by provisional ballot, and that ballot will be counted if they show the local county registrar an ID by the Friday after the election.
Despite these voter-friendly provisions, the NAACP and other plaintiffs challenged the law claiming that it violated the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. They alleged that it would disproportionally affect minority communities because minority voters hold an ID at a lesser rate than whites, and would also supposedly find it more difficult to obtain an ID than whites in Alabama.
But that is simply not the case. As Judge Scott Coogler pointed out, [m]inorities do not have less opportunity to vote under Alabamas Photo ID law, because everyone has the same opportunity to obtain an ID. And obtaining an ID is very easy.
In fact, Coogler concluded that the provisions of the law are such that [t]here is no person who is qualified to register to vote who cannot also get a photo ID. The program to provide a free voter ID card is widely accessible to anyone who makes the effort to utilize it.
There is even a mobile ID unit that can travel to voters who lack transportation to get to an ID center. That mobile ID unit has made more than 350 visits across the state and visited every county.
Coogler argued that the impact of the law should not be measured by how many people lack a given ID at a given point in time, but by whether someone without an ID can easily get one.
In this case, he found that the state had provided adequate accessibility and information to help voters including minorities obtain proper forms of ID.
The foolishness of this lawsuit was shown by the expert testimony in the case. The NAACPs expert claimed only 1.37 percent of whites, 2.44 percent of blacks, and 2.29 percent of Hispanics lacked an acceptable ID.
So the plaintiffs case was based on the laughable claim that an almost negligible one-percentage point difference between whites, blacks, and Hispanics who lack an ID card was so discriminatory that it violated the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution.
By the way, it turned out that when a survey was done of that small percentage of minorities who supposedly didnt have an ID, 80 of them were dead, 784 no longer lived at their registered address, and 1,933 questionnaires were returned as undeliverable.
Alabamas expert determined that only 0.87 percent of whites, 1.44 percent of blacks, and 1.26 percent of Hispanics lack an ID. He also found that black and Hispanic voters without an ID were actually more likely than white voters without photo IDs to live closer to a county office where an ID could be obtained.
Coogler also discussed something that opponents of voter ID and other security measures and their friends in the media say doesnt exist: Alabamas documented history of voter fraud, including absentee ballot fraud, which this ID law was also intended to target.
According to Coogler, affidavits and courtroom testimony have established the following abuses in the state:
· absentee ballots cast in the names of dead people and people who have long since moved out of the county;
· absentee ballots mailed to unregistered voters;
· voter brokers following mail trucks and removing absentee ballots from mailboxes;
· intimidation of poor and elderly voters who are made to fear a cutoff of their governmental assistance from local politicians if they do not cooperate by handing over their absentee ballots;
· pressuring and solicitation of nursing home patients;
· vote buying at $5 and $10 apiece;
· bulk mailing of hundreds of absentee ballots by just a few individuals in some counties.
The judge mentioned criminal voter fraud prosecutions in Wilcox and Greene counties. The Greene County case is described in a Heritage Foundation case study from 2008 that detailed the conviction of 11 conspirators who had been fixing local elections for years. That case in particular shows how voter fraud threatens the right to free and fair elections and how those most often harmed are the poor and minorities. In addition to Greene County, The Heritage Foundations own voter fraud database shows numerous other convictions in the state for crimes ranging from vote buying to fraudulent use of absentee ballots to ineligible voting by an illegal alien.
The bottom line is that Alabamas ID law for both in-person and absentee voting is constitutional and does not violate the Voting Rights Act.
Hans von Spakovsky is a Legal Fellow with the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation.
If you're not smart enough to acquire and present a valid picture ID when going to the polls, you shouldn't be voting.
some good news
Sanity breaks out!
The DNC are still pulling some kind of shenanigans with the machine count. Otherwise they would not have forbidden the paper ballot recount/comparison.
Born in Taxachusetts, but moved south. Apparently was appointed a district judge by G. W. Bush.
Why can’t other states just craft their laws to mirror that of Indiana\, which SCOTUS has already give an official Okie-Dokie?
Finally, a Judge with a brain.
You can’t even get a Library Card without a drivers license.
For sure you can’t get a bank account.
In Georgia the government was willing to go to those homes that had no ID and make them one right then and there.
Maybe Supreme Court material, eventually.
They need to get rid of student ID as an accepted ID for voting. You don’t have to be a resident or even a citizen to get one.
Allowing part-time residents (as many students are) to vote in local elections historically has caused a lot of problems.
If they can get off their arses to get an EBT/Food Stamp card they can get a State ID Card too.
This should be used as a precedent nationwide.
Good news but shouldnt voting require the effort and responsibility of proving ones identity even if it did place a slight burden on its citizens. The coddling continues.
Friggin’ Birmingham as always. Disgusting and corrupt to the bone.
nearly the entire population of registered voters in Alabama already possess a photo ID that can be used for voting.
Which begs the question, why are people allowed to register to vote without proof of identity?
We go to the polls. We HAVE to show a photo ID. They find your name on the print out and compare your name on the ID and the print out from the registration office. When they are satisfied!!you are who you claim, you SIGN next to your name on the print out. You are given your ballot and you go vote and then go over to the machine and slide it through the counter machine and give them back their pen and depart. Streamline. Quick. Efficient. Honest. No cheaters. That is the way we do in down here in the Home of the NCAA National College Football Champions, Alabama!!! The Heart of Dixie!! The MOST Conservative state in the union. The second ranked Christian state after Mississippi, the last poll I saw. So, we ain’t doing to bad.
I believe that the voter picture ID requirement is effective because, unlike most liberals, I don’t believe that all blacks look alike!
“””In 2011, the Alabama legislature passed a photo ID requirement for both in-person and absentee voting.”””
Also good news that absentee voters have to show ID before either getting a blank ballot or submitting their completed ballot.
For too long I have been concerned that ‘mail-in’ or ‘drop box’ absentee voting allows the scoundrels to illegally vote.
“shouldnt voting require the effort and responsibility of proving ones identity even if it did place a slight burden on its citizens.”
No... ‘cause slavery.
And, Democrats can’t win without illegal votes.
Crikey, how many times does Alabamas Voter ID law need to be upheld?
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