The state of Alabama is facing an $11 million cut to its general fund budget. In an attempt to cut costs, the state will close at least 31 part-time, non-state owned satellite driver license offices. This may seem like a rather mundane piece of news, but, thanks to critics on the far-left, the story has gotten national attention. The country's liberal wing, not wanting to let an opportunity for manufactured rage go to waste, has attacked the closings as being racially motivated and an attempt to keep low-income minorities from obtaining the necessary voter ID for election participation. Jesse Jackson even said: "Of course it's a new Jim Crow."
It takes very little effort however to see that these criticisms are completely without merit. As Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill pointed out: "[a]ll 67 counties in Alabama have a Board of Registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards. If, for some reason, those citizens are not able to make it to the Board of Registrars, we'll bring our mobile I.D. van and crew to that county. By Oct. 31, our office will have brought the mobile I.D. van to every county in Alabama at least once."
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley also pushed back on the dishonest criticism. Hillary Clinton was quick to jump on the issue and Governor Bentley responded saying: "[t]he one that I'm really angry about is Hillary Clinton. You know Hillary Clinton never lets the facts get in the way of a good political sound bite and that's exactly what she has done criticizing the state of Alabama."
Regarding access to the ballot, Governor Bentley was clear that state officials are doing everything possible to ensure that anyone who wishes to legally vote can do so: "[w]e will go to people's houses to have their picture made if they don't have a photo ID in the state of Alabama. We're not ever going to do anything to keep people in the state of Alabama from voting. And for them to jump to a conclusion like that, that is politics at its worst."
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