Federal Judge Dismisses Voter ID Lawsuit

Jan 12, 2018

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s state law requiring people to show government issued photo ID at the polls.

The lawsuit was one of the latest battles between voting rights advocates who say these measures are aimed at suppressing voter turnout and conservative states that argue they’re needed to prevent voter fraud.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler ruled in favor of the state earlier this week, saying Alabama’s Voter ID provision does not discriminate against minorities and is not an undue infringement on the right to vote since the state makes free IDs available for voting purposes.

Alabama has required voters to show photo IDs at the polls since 2014. The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, Greater Birmingham Ministries and minority voters sued over the law in 2015, calling it discriminatory and an infringement on voting rights. They argue Alabama politicians knew when they enacted the law that it disproportionately affected black and Latino voters.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall praised the decision, saying the state's voter ID law was one of the "broadest in the nation" because of the mechanisms for obtaining a free ID.