The Daily Signal is reporting today that Judge Scott Coogle, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, has ruled that the Alabama voter ID law is constitutional.
The article reports:
A federal judge in Alabama has thrown out a lawsuit against the state’s voter ID law, finding that the law doesn’t 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 don’t, 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-driver’s 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 free—something 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 election 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.
Unfortunately we live in a world where showing a photo ID has become a fact of life. When I go to the doctor’s office, I have to show a photo ID. If I board an airplane, I have to show a photo ID (and soon, as license requirements change in some states, a passport will be necessary). Anyone can easily get a photo ID, and states with photo ID requirements to vote will provide them to people at no cost.
This is a common sense ruling. Hopefully it will stand and set an example for the rest of the states.