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League of Women Voters of Alabama
637 Horseshoe Curve
Pike Road, AL  36064

205 871-8194
October 7, 2015    

Dr. Anne Permaloff


LWVAL calls for state legislation that would suspend the state’s
voter photo ID law until the driver’s licensing centers are reopened.

MontgomeryOn Wednesday, October 7, 2015, the League of Women Voters of Alabama sent the following open letter to Alabama government leaders.

Governor Robert Bentley
Speaker Mike Hubbard
President Pro Tempore Del Marsh
FROM: Dr. Anne Permaloff, President
League of Women Voters of Alabama
Fixing Photo ID
Date:  October 7, 2015

The League of Women Voters of Alabama is deeply disappointed to see the voting rights of so many in the state under attack due to recent budget cuts that would close 31 DMV offices around the state. Closing these offices creates a barrier to the voting booth, negatively impacting a voter’s ability to not only obtain a state issued photo ID required to vote, but making it harder for citizens to register as well. The people most impacted will be rural, lower income, and minority voters – 8 of the 10 counties in Alabama with the highest percentages of non-white voters will lose their DMV. 

The League of Women Voters of Alabama calls upon the Alabama legislature to pass, and send to the governor to sign, legislation to suspend the state’s voter photo ID law until the driver’s licensing centers are reopened.

In 2011 Alabama passed one the strictest voter photo ID laws in the country, requiring voters to show a limited number of IDs in order to vote, and the law went into effect one year ago. These closures will potentially disenfranchise thousands of voters who will no longer be able to obtain the ID required by the state in order to cast a ballot on Election Day.

The budget should not be balanced on the backs of voters. While the administration justifies the move as rational cost cutting based on the numbers of licenses issued in these counties, it has failed to consider the impact on voters – and on the reputation of the state as a whole – and reopens Alabama’s negative past with voting rights to national scrutiny.  Alabama’s Department of Public Safety predicts that roughly 250,000 voters lack one of the required IDs needed to vote, voters who now have to travel far distances in order to obtain an ID due to the DMV closures.

The State of Alabama needs to correct the situation before unnecessary and costly legal action is taken. Our precious resources should be used to improve our communities, not defending actions that ultimately have a discriminatory impact.  

Protecting the right of every voter to have easy access to the ballot box should be our state legislature’s top priority.  Alabama’s elected officials should not be rolling back the clock on voting rights 50 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act. The League of Women Voters of Alabama will continue to push our government to protect the integrity of our elections by ensuring that every eligible citizen is able to register to vote and cast their ballot.


The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, does not support or oppose political parties or candidates.  It encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy thorough education and advocacy.  Membership is open to all citizens, men and women, age 18 or older. With nearly 800 affiliates across the county, the League is one of the nation’s most trusted organizations.
If you do not wish to receive LWVAL media releases or announcements, please notify Jean Johnson at jjohnson@lwval.org or contact the League at 205 871-8194. 

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