…In response, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill—backed by writers at the National Review—argued that the state’s DMV offices were not the sole source of government-issued ID cards, and that county registrars could issue the required state IDs. Merrill also emphasized that the state had a “mobile unit” for issuing IDs to people who might lack access to an existing issuer. Amid the uproar over the shuttered DMVs, Merrill promised that by the end of October 2015, the mobile unit would issue IDs to residents in each of Alabama’s 67 counties. And the state made good on this promise.
Since then, though, the mobile unit has become strikingly stationary, according to Deuel Ross, an attorney at the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. In a recent interview, Ross said that, according to his records, the unit hasn’t moved yet this year, even in the weeks and months ahead of Alabama’s hotly contested primary election on Super Tuesday.
“Every time we’d talk about the closures, they’d say: ‘You don’t have to worry because we’re sending the mobile unit all over the state,'” Ross said, adding that even though many residents seek IDs ahead of elections, “this year, they didn’t bother to send the mobile units out before the March primary.”
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