voter photo identification

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.

More than 700,000 Alabama voters are expected at the polls Tuesday for the first election where voters will be required to show a photo ID.

Alabama's chief election official, Jim Bennett, is predicting that 25 percent to 27 percent of Alabama's 2.8 million registered voters will turn out for the primary election. That's down from 32 percent four years ago, when both parties had hotly contested races for governor.

This is the first election where voters have to show a photo ID. That can include a driver's license, non-driver ID, Alabama voter ID or passport.

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.