Alabama voter ID law

The state of Alabama is resting its case in the impeachment trial of Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports yesterday’s testimony revolved around the relationship between Clark and one particular Sumter County inmate. A deputy reportedly testified the inmate had the passcode to the jail’s surveillance system and was frequently allowed to drive Clark’s truck without supervision.

A federal judge says a pending lawsuit over Alabama's voter identification law will go to trial in the fall of next year.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler has set the trial to begin Sept. 11, 2017, in Birmingham federal court. Greater Birmingham Ministries and the NAACP challenged the state’s existing voter ID law as an infringement on voting rights disproportionately affecting black and Latino voters.

A House committee has approved an education budget that would give most of the state’s teachers a 4% pay raise.

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved a $6.3 billion spending plan for 2017.

The 4% raise would go to teachers making less than $75,000 annually. Others would get a 2% raise.

The budget would also provide funding to hire an additional 475 teachers in 7th through 12th grades.

Budget Chairman Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa says the budget makes the best use of the state's finite resources.

A federal judge says he will uphold Alabama’s photo ID requirement for voters in the upcoming primary elections.

U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler denied a preliminary injunction sought by groups challenging the state law requiring voters to present photo identification. The groups had asked the judge to expand the state's alternative identification process so people without a photo ID could vote by presenting other documents or identification.

triplepundit

Election officials on Wednesday will count provisional ballots in a closely watched state senate race.

Longtime Sen. Roger Bedford of Russellville trails Republican Larry Stutts by just 60 votes, according to unofficial returns.

Voters can cast provisional ballots if they do not have the required photo identification or if they do not appear on a polling place's list of voters. The votes only count if election officials determine the person was rightfully eligible to vote.

Bedford's supporters say they will hold out hope until the last vote is counted.

Ryan Vasquez

www.cnn.com

It was one year ago when the US Supreme Court struck down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  That section required federal approval for voting changes in states with a history of racial discrimination, mostly in the south.  And after the Supreme Court acted, many of those states rushed to enact laws requiring photo identification to vote, including here in Alabama. The state reported few problems during this month’s primary election.  Critics of voter photo ID say they’re waiting for the November election when more voters show up at the polls.

Alabama officials say implementation is going smoothly with a new law requiring voters to show a photo ID to vote.

Alabama's chief of election official, Secretary of State Jim Bennett, says he's had no reports of problems. Bennett says his office spent about $900,000 to educate voters about the new law and to provide photo IDs to more than 2,300 people who didn't have one.

Vox Efx / Flickr

Voters who don't have a valid photo ID to use in Alabama's elections can get one free at county board of registrars' offices.

Alabama's chief election official, Secretary of State Jim Bennett, says registrars' offices in every county will be offering the free IDs, starting this week.

abc3340.com

The secretary of state's plan for implementing Alabama's photo ID requirement for voting includes making free ID cards available through mobile vans, county board of registrars' offices, and the state Department of Senior Services.

Secretary of State Jim Bennett issued his final rules Tuesday for implementing the law for the 2014 elections.

The law requires voters to show a photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport or student ID from a university. For those lacking photo IDs, Alabama plans to provide free photo IDs for voting at many locations.

sos.state.al.us / Alabama Secretary of State

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman says her office has a plan that will allow any eligible voter to receive free photo identification.

She said voters will be able to get the identification even if they can't afford to pay. Chapman said voters can fill out a form to receive a free photo ID. She said her office wants to develop a system where voters can receive the photo identification at the county courthouse.

Alabama officials say voters apparently will have to present identification at the polls in the next election.

   Officials including Gov. Robert Bentley, Secretary of State Beth Chapman and Attorney General Luther Strange said the Supreme Court's ruling Tuesday throwing out part of the federal Voting Rights Act means the state does not have to submit for preclearance a new law requiring voters to have photo identification.

   Strange said the voter identification law will be implemented immediately.