Media Releases

For Immediate Release: March 22, 2011

Rich Advances Bill to Fight Voter Fraud

By Markeshia Ricks - March 23, 2011

After bogging down for hours in debate that ultimately ended in a cloture vote, the House advanced a bill that would require registered voters to present government-is­sued photo identification if they want to cast a ballot on Election Day in 2014.

The bill would reduce the num­ber of different kinds of identifica­tion that can be used at the polls from nearly 30 to about eight—all of which would have to have a pho­to if the bill becomes law. The House voted 64 to 31, along party lines to send the bill to the Senate.

Voters would have to provide the following kinds of photo identi­fications at the polls if the legisla­tion becomes law: a valid Alabama driver’s license, state/county non-driver ID card, photo ID issued by a state or the federal government, a valid U.S. passport, an employee ID from a government agency, a stu­dent or employee ID issued by a public or private college or univer­sity, a U.S. military ID or a tribal photo ID.

Photo identification would be valid as long as it wasn’t expired and as long as the person still lived at the address on the identification. The secretary of state also would be responsible for providing voter identification cards. The cards would be provided at no cost.

State Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albert­ville, said the bill would help the state to fight voter fraud. He point­ed to three reports of voter fraud since 2008 as reasons why more stringent identification require­ments are needed at the polls.

Rich said it has been his experi­ence that most people currently use their driver’s license when they go to the polls. He said the bill continues to allow those with disabilities to vote by absen­tee ballot. The bill also doesn’t stop a voter from casting a provisional ballot if they want to vote without ID.

“In my view, voting is one of the most sacred things we have and we should do every­thing we can possibly do to make sure that people are able to vote and have confi­dence in the voting system we have,” he said.

See full story from the Montgomery Advertiser

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