Alabama is desperately trying to win the voter discrimination war in the South by continuously suppressing Black voters.
Alabama has now found a new way to prevent Black people from voting: shut down every driver’s license office where majority of Black voters are registered.
The state, which requires a photo ID to vote, announced this week its new discriminatory initiative to close 31 DMV offices due to budgets cuts.
The caveat here is the move slyly impacts counties with the highest number of registered black voters as AL.com’s John Archibald deciphers:
“Because Alabama just took a giant step backward,” Archibald wrote. “Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters. That’s Macon, Greene, Sumter, Lowndes, Bullock, Perry, Wilcox, Dallas, Hale, and Montgomery, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Alabama, thanks to its budgetary insanity and inanity, just opted to close driver license bureaus in eight of them.”
“Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one.”
Only a year after Alabama implemented the voter photo ID law, the state is adamantly continuing its crusade against minority voters' rights. Despite state officials claiming the closures won’t be a problem since registrar offices where individuals can obtain non-driving photo IDs will remain open, the action highlights a greater issue of the deep-rooted historical implications of segregation in Alabama that still permeates into the state’s political culture today.
Alabama finished dead last in a nationwide assessment of democracy. The state’s long history of Black voter suppression coupled with its disturbing legacy of racial segregation has fostered a corrupt system that refuses to leave the past behind. Progress is slow as the long history of segregation and confederate racism has never translated into regrettable guilt for the state, instead defining itself as a cultural influence for Alabama citizens.
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund sent a letter to the state this week saying Alabama is in "likely violation" of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and may take legal action against the state for creating a disproportionate atmosphere that limits Black people's involvement in the political process.
Ex-felons are denied the right to vote further disadvantaging people of color from voting and women are vastly underrepresented in office at every level. The cemented pattern of misinformed citizens combined with conservative elite’s consistent chokehold on political power demonstrates reform is far from sight.