Alabama Proves Voter ID Laws are Meant to Disenfranchise Minority Voters

alabama-dlThese voter ID laws that have been passed all across the country by many Republican-controlled state legislatures have been an absolute joke. In many states, what they ultimately amount to is a poll tax. They’re yet another way for Republicans to rig elections by disenfranchising voters who typically don’t vote for Republicans.

I’ll explain how this con goes. Republicans can’t target specific demographics with an outright ban on voting, but what they can do is make the requirements to vote more difficult. Say, for instance, the need for a valid ID. Now, the ID itself isn’t exactly the problem; it’s the access and costs associated with obtaining that ID. Despite what many Republicans will claim, this isn’t always easy for a lot of Americans – especially those living in poverty.

You see, in many states you can’t obtain an ID without paying some sort of fee. Whether it’s the actual fee for the ID itself, or the fee required to obtain a birth certificate, some sort of monetary exchange is required at some point in order to obtain the proper identification to legally be allowed to vote. While some states have created specific IDs just for voting, most Americans seem unaware of their existence. Not only that, but any form of ID requirement makes it nearly impossible for people to register to vote at the last minute due to the time required to actually receive the ID.

But even if you get beyond the fees associated with the ID, perhaps the most underhanded way I’ve predicted how Republicans would try to rig elections is by making it much more difficult for specific voters (most notably minorities) to get to a DMV office and obtain the proper identification needed in order to vote.

My prediction seems to be coming true in Alabama where the state recently announced the closure of 31 DMV offices – including all of the offices in counties where African-Americans make up 75 percent or more of the population.

Now, could this all be a giant coincidence? I guess it could, and I’m sure that’s what Alabama Republicans will claim. But when you’re a state like Alabama with a very checkered history relating to racism, it definitely looks suspicious that just a few years after passing strict voter ID laws (which studies have proven target minority voters), you’re about to close every DMV office in counties that have an African-American population over 75 percent.

Especially when people like myself have been saying for years that this is exactly what Republicans were planning to do with these voter ID laws: Require an ID to vote – then make it more difficult to obtain an ID.

I also think it’s important to reiterate that voter fraud is not even remotely an issue in this country. There have only been a handful of credible cases over the last 10+ years out of literally hundreds of millions of votes that were cast during that time.

Then again, as any rational person can tell, voter ID laws have nothing to do with addressing the non-existent problem of voter fraud and everything to do with Republicans trying to prevent people who often don’t vote for them from being able to vote at all.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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