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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Summer 2014

Voter Identification Ida Tyree-Hyche; Tyree Hyche Legal, LLC Alabama’s New Voter Photo Identifi cation Law Legislative Act 2011-673 In Alabama elections that begin June 3, 2014, voters will be required to present photo identifi cation before casting ballots — the fi rst major test of voter ID laws after years of legal challenges arguing that the measures are designed to suppress voting. A 2011 voter photo ID law went into eff ect after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on June 25, 2013, no longer requiring certain states to seek pre-approval for changes in voting laws. During the 2011 Regular Legislative Session, the Legislature approved House Bill 19. Governor Robert Bentley signed the bill and it was subsequently assigned Act Number 2011-673. “It is important for as many citizens as possible to become aware of the new requirement. We need to do everything we can to educate everyone,” said the Honorable Judge Alan L. King, who is a Jeff erson County Probate Judge and also a Jeff erson County Chief Election Offi cial, during a recent voter education forum. A photo ID will be the only valid form of identifi cation.  Under the new voter photo identifi cation law, the term “valid” means having legal strength, force, and eff ect. Th ere may be senior citizens and others who do not have valid driver’s licenses.  Citizens who do not have valid photo identifi cation under the new Law (a valid Alabama or U.S. government photo ID, a valid county or municipal photo ID, a valid U.S. Passport, a valid student photo ID, a valid military ID with photo, a valid tribal ID with photo), are required to get a non-driver’s license photo ID. A voter who does not have any of the acceptable forms of photo ID may obtain a free non-driver photo ID for purposes of voting by completing a form with the Department of Public Safety and signing a form attesting that they do not have one of the valid forms of photo ID. Registered voters who are eligible for a free Alabama photo voter identifi cation card can apply for the identifi cation card at the Jeff erson County Board of Registrars offi ce. Th e Alabama Secretary of State has placed equipment in the Board of Registrar’s Offi ce at the Jeff erson County Courthouse in Room 410 A to issue non-Driver’s License photo IDs at no cost. Th e telephone number is (205) 325- 5550, and their offi ce is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Citizens, who are currently not registered voters and are eligible for a free Alabama photo voter identifi cation card, can apply for the card at the same time they turn in a voter registration form. In order to receive the free Alabama photo voter ID card, a citizen must not have any of the other valid forms of photo identifi cation under the new law, and provide a document that contains his or her full legal name and date of birth. All of the information may be contained in the same document. Th e application must be signed and sworn to under penalty of perjury pursuant to the laws of the State of Alabama. Any falsifi cation or fraud in the making of this application shall constitute a Class C felony. Serving Jeff erson County as Chief Election Offi cial through 28 Jeff erson County primaries, run-off s, general and special elections, and three recounts, the Honorable Judge Alan L. King said, “As Probate Judge and the Chief Election Offi cial for Jeff erson County, every election in Jeff erson County has been and will always be fair, impartial and conducted with honor and transparency.” Judge King spends time speaking at various community forums informing citizens about the new voter photo ID law. G Endnotes: 1 http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/06/alabama_ photo_voter_id_law_to.html 2 http://www.sos.state.al.us/elections/voterid. aspx 3 Secretary of State Administrative Rules, Implementation of Photo Voter Identifi cation Law, 820-2-9-.03 (b) Instructions and Application Form for Free Alabama Photo Voter Identifi cation Card. The list of valid photo IDs under the new Alabama voter photo ID Law includes: • A valid Alabama Drivers License • A valid Non-Drivers License • A valid US Passport • A valid ID card issued by a branch, dept. agency of the State of Alabama or the US • A valid employee ID that contains your photo and is issued by any branch, dept. agency of the State of Alabama or the U.S. or any county or municipality • A valid Student ID with a photo • A valid Military ID with a photo • A valid Tribal ID with a photo Persons without a current valid photo ID under the new law may: 1. Obtain a free non-drivers ID from the Dept. of Public Safety, who will bill the cost back to the State; 2. Obtain a free voter ID from the Board of Registrars at the Jefferson County Courthouse; 3. Obtain a free voter ID from one of the mobile units that will be set up by the Secretary of State. 30 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Summer 2014
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