A top civil rights legal group, citing a likely violation of voting rights, suggested possible legal action against Alabama for its decision to close 31 of its driver's license offices. The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund has requested to meet with Alabama state officials in person to express the group's concerns that the DMV closures will make it harder for residents -- particularly African Americans in the state's "Black Belt" -- to obtain the government-issued photo IDs required to vote under Alabama law.
NAACP-LDF President Sherrilyn Ifill sent a letter Friday to Gov. Robert Bentley (R), Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Spencer Collier (R) and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R), in which she suggested a "strong likelihood" that Alabama’s actions violated the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. She said there was a "potential need for immediate legal action" by the group.
"By closing these offices, the State will drastically reduce the number of sites where potential voters can obtain photo ID, creating a substantial and disproportionate burden on Black people’s ability to participate in the political process in Alabama," the letter said.
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