On December 2, 2015, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Covington & Burling, LLP, and local attorney Ed Still filed a lawsuit in the Northern District Alabama challenging Alabama’s discriminatory photo ID law, HB 19, under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the United States Constitution. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Alabama NAACP. In this new case, LDF’s clients not only seek to block the suppressive photo ID law, but will also petition the court to “bail-in” the State of Alabama for all future voting changes.
Alabama’s restrictive photo ID law imposes significant and disproportionate burdens on African-American and Latino voters in the State. Nationally, 25% of African-American and 16% of Latino voting age citizens, but only 8% of white voting age citizens lack a government-issued photo ID. In addition, since last year, LDF has repeatedly warned Alabama in letters that the closure of DMV offices, and the State’s interpretation of the law’s failsafe as an illegal “voucher” requirement would only worsen this problem.