Last spring, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Alabama’s attempt at redistricting as a way to prevent people from voting. The state is now claiming it does not have the funds available to keep all of its driver’s license offices open although identification is required to vote.
Alabama has tried similar tactics in the past, which have had the strongest effect on African-American voters. The state has enacted very strict laws regarding voter identification and while it is not clear whether any one political party is behind the legislation, the Republicans are in majority and have been vocal about voter ID for a number of years.
As a result of the claimed budget crisis, all but four driver’s license offices in Alabama will close. While this will present a large inconvenience to everyone, it will be especially difficult for those who do not drive to obtain a state identification card. In response to this situation, Alabama was ranked the lowest of all the states in regard to voting rights. Harvard University also claimed the state was corrupt.
The four offices that will remain open are located in Alabama’s biggest cities and will have a workload of about five million people. This could lead to wait times of multiple days, which would exclude those who cannot leave their jobs for that length of time.