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February 18, 2016
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange said a federal court ruling
not to enjoin part of Alabama’s voter identification law is a victory for the integrity of
Alabama’s upcoming elections, and also protects access for voters without a photo ID in
certain circumstances.
A provision of the Voter ID law allows someone without a valid photo ID to cast
a ballot if he or she can be positively identified by two election officials as a qualified
voter. This provision, which actually extends protection to would-be voters, was
challenged in the case of Greater Birmingham Ministries and Alabama State Conference of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. State of Alabama, filed in U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The Attorney’s General’s
Constitutional Defense Section represented the Secretary of State in opposing the
challenge. Yesterday the Court denied plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction of
the provision.
Plaintiffs compared the “positively identify” provision to a pre-civil rights
practice that required someone registering to vote to find already registered voters
who would vouch for them. The Court rejected this argument, saying “[t]he
positively identify provision in Alabama’s Voter ID law is dissimilar from these
vouchers of the past in that it is not a requirement that must be met before voting.”
Instead, it is an additional “method of proving a voter’s identity that supplements
the objective requirement of producing a photo ID.” The Court continued by
noting that “the positively identify provision gives more voters, including minority
voters, the opportunity to vote.”
Attorney General Strange praised the Court’s decision and noted that this means
the state’s Voter ID laws will be intact in upcoming elections. “Our voter ID law is an
important measure that properly balances the right of citizens to vote with their right to
have confidence in the integrity of our elections.”
Attorney General Strange noted that anyone with questions about Voter ID
requirements in advance of the upcoming March 1 primary election and April 12
primary runoff election can visit the Secretary of State’s website dedicated to Voter ID
at www.alabamavoterid.com or contact the Secretary’s office at 1-800-274-8683.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300