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Alabama offers free voter ID cards

Published 11:32am Friday, March 14, 2014

Alabama residents who don’t have a valid photo ID now have a rather simple solution beginning this week, largely due to a new state law.

The only stipulation requires that the recipients must also be registered to vote.

Beginning with the 2014 primary election in June, the state legislature will require all voters to present a proper photo ID prior to voting.

A voter can use any of the following at the polls beginning on June 3, 2014:

  • Alabama photo voter ID
  • Driver’s license
  • Non-driver ID
  • State-issued ID (Alabama or any other state)
  • Federal issued ID
  • U.S. passport
  • Employee ID from federal government, state of Alabama, county government, municipality, board, authority or other entity of the state
  • Student or employee ID from a college or university in the state of Alabama (including postgraduate, technical or professional schools)
  • Military ID
  • Tribal ID

If a voter possesses any of the above forms of ID, he or she is not eligible for a free Alabama photo voter ID.

The decision makes Alabama one of 34 states with such a requirement at the polls.

Butler County Probate Judge Steve Norman described the registration process as a relatively straightforward affair.

“They must be registered to vote in Butler County and this is done at the registrar’s office,” Norman said.

“There will be a mobile unit in Butler County at some point in the future on select days.”

Beginning Monday, March 17, Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett and his staff will begin the mobile site visits for the production of photo voter ID cards.

“Voters can always get a free voter ID at their board of registrars office in their county or in the secretary of state’s office,” Bennett said.

“What we are trying to do with these mobile site visits is get to some of the more remote areas of the county to make this process convenient for all voters.  We hope that registered voters within the community will take part in these mobile visits.”

According to the mobile site schedule, Butler County’s visit is slated for Thursday, April 10 in Georgiana at the Community House, located at 131 Jones St. West, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Norman expressed that though the option to obtain a photo ID is a useful one, he believes it will have little impact overall on Butler County’s voting process.

“I am obligated, by my office, to uphold the laws of our state and I am deeply concerned about administering fair and lawful elections in Butler County,” Norman said.

“With that said, I have not seen any evidence in Butler County that a problem exists with voter identification, or in any other area of our election process.  As of today, there have been no registered voters to apply for a free ID, and I doubt that there will be a large number between now and June 3.”

For more information about receiving a free voter ID, call 1-800-274-VOTE or go to www.alabamavoterid.com.

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