Some Voters Say New Photo Voter ID Plan Discriminates Against Minorities


By Jessica Gertler

Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down part of the Voting Rights Act, the state of Alabama releases a plan on how it will implement a new law that requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls. There are some voters who are worried it will discriminate against minorities.

"There's a lot of people who don't have photo identification who should have the right to vote," says Valessa Henderson who is upset with her state.

Any person who does not have an acceptable picture ID can receive a free one by going to the nearest department of public safety office or a county courthouse. 

"Yeah, that doesn't sound right to me," says Timothy Ivey who does not own a photo ID or a car.

Ivey says it will "take effort and motivation" to get an ID made. Something he is not willing to do.

"A lot of African Americans don't have ID, for real," says Henderson. "That's basically like they are taking us back into time."

According to the NAACP, four out of every 25 Latino voters and one out of four African American voters do not have photo IDs

"They are trying to take us back in time, and they are taking our privilege to vote away from us," says Henderson.

The legislature passed the law last Spring. 

Supporters say this measure will prevent voter fraud.

"Everybody should have an ID. I mean really. You need an ID for everything now," says Sophia Hargrove who is a proponent of the law.

State officials are still working on details like who will produce the IDs. The law will take effect in the 2014 primaries.

"I think you should have the right to vote at anytime with a picture ID or without a picture ID," says Henderson.

Alabama could still face a hurdle. Civil rights groups and the federal government could still seek legal action to block the voter ID law. 

The law states that you do not need to apply for a free photo voter ID card if you already possess a valid Alabama driver's license or valid non-drivers ID card; a valid ID or photo employee card issued by a branch, department or agency of the State of Alabama, any other state, or the United States; a valid US passport; a student ID; a US military ID – both which contain a photo; and also a valid tribal ID card. 

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