More concerns raised about voter photo ID requirements - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

More concerns raised about voter photo ID requirements

Jefferson County leaders are questioning some of the requirements of the new voter photo ID law. Jefferson County leaders are questioning some of the requirements of the new voter photo ID law.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Jefferson County leaders have more criticism about Alabama's new requirement for photo identifications for voting.

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman announce all voters would be required to have picture IDs before the vote in the 2014 elections.

Jefferson County Registrar Barry Stephenson questioned to the lack of personnel to run machines to provide the free photo IDs.

Thursday, Stephenson raised additional concerns about the requirement. In order to get free IDs, voters must produce a notarized document if they do not have any other form of picture identifications.

"If you don't have a form of photo ID you are going to have to fill out a notarized form. That could be a problem for the elderly that doesn't have proper transportation, finding a notary, coming to the courthouse where the free government IDs will be issued," Stephenson said.

Thursday state lawmakers said forcing people to get notarized documents smacks of a poll tax where voters have to pay to vote.

"It's a poll tax. If someone says they don't have voter ID, believe them. Why would they lie about having a voter ID? Why would you put that kind of burden on them? Give them a free voter ID," Rep. John Rogers of Birmingham said.

"I think that is voter disenfranchisement. That is what the bill was intended to do. That is one of the reasons the majority did not send the bill to the justice department," Rep. Mary Moore said.

Stephenson said he expects problems because he doesn't expect to put a notary on his staff.

Registrars and lawmakers hope to meet with new Secretary of State Jim Bennett soon and discuss these potential problems to see if they can work them out before next year's election.

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