Hillary makes bogus claim of racism in Alabama.

Hillary Clinton is pissed about the fact that the State of Alabama recently closed a small number of branch drivers license offices.

Clinton criticized Alabama’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley, for closing drivers licenses offices in 31 counties, many of them majority African-American. Alabama requires photo identification to vote.

“This is a blast from the Jim Crow past,” she told about 700 people at a luncheon of the Alabama Democratic Conference

In this, she follows Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell, who’s been ranting about the issue.

What actually happened? The State of Alabama operates a number of large, fully-time drivers license offices throughout the state. (That number is 44, to be exact.) Until recently, they also operated a number of smaller satellite offices. (31, to be exact.) These satellite offices were typically open only one day a week, and they were responsible for processing very few licenses–less than 5 percent of the total. This year the satellite offices were closed, while the larger full-time offices remained open.

Why were the offices closed? For budget reasons, not for any reason that had anything to do with race. The Yahoo article I linked to noted that the closings are in “31 counties, many of them majority African-American”. It failed to note that many of them are in counties that aren’t majority African-American. The satellite offices were mainly in rural areas. Most of Alabama’s rural areas have a large majority of whites. The state government closed all the small satellite offices in the state without exception, thus showing no preference by race.

Will this make it difficult to get an ID? No. As the state’s guide says, in addition to being able to get a driver’s license at any of the many DMV offices throughout the state, voters can also get a free voter ID card at any Registrars office. There is such an office in every county. Therefore the closing down of the satellite DMV offices obviously will not create any obstacle to any person obtaining a free photo ID. Moreover, any government-issued ID is valid for voting, state or federal, and the enormous majority of voters already have an ID. Thus they don’t even need to mosey the few miles down the road to get their free state ID card.

So if the shutting down of a few, rarely-used offices has nothing to do with race and won’t prevent anyone from getting an ID or from voting, why is Hillary comparing it to Jim Crow laws? I don’t know, and I’m not holding my breath while waiting for her to explain what she said.

Of course. Perfectly innocent. Nothing in any way to make voting more difficult for minorities. Not in Alabama, heart of equality and opportunity for all.

Nope. Nothing to see here. The corpse bleeding on the ground has nothing to do with voter rights, just a little budget matter.

Cough. Bullshit. Cough.

How easy is it to get a valid voter ID at an Alabama Registrar’s office? I’ll guess the first question they ask is “Did you bring any photo ID?” :smiley:

But before the Board’s liberals rush to defend Hillary, let’s defend the state known as the Heart of Dixie. It ranks near the top in several lists ranking U.S. states (although it’s fallen down in the illiteracy ranking). The budget shortfall that forced it to close offices in mostly-Black areas was caused in part by its heroic refusal to accept money for communist health-care.

And Alabama’s glorious history deserves praise. Let’s not forget March, 1965 when Sheriff Jim Clark ordered all white males in Dallas County over the age of twenty-one to report and be deputized to defend the Edmund Pettus Bridge from terrorists who had announced plans to cross that bridge and enter the county.

With such a glorious past, who could quibble about a few suppressed votes?

Ran out of edit time before mentioning that the American-born terrorists streaming across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, who had to be turned back, were coming specifically to ask for …

… the Right to Vote.

How does this work in practice? African-Americans have to show photo ID when they cast their ballots in Alabama, and Whites don’t?

In principle, No.

In practice, both high-level and low-level officials will have much discretion to make things easy or hard, as they choose, at every step of the ID-obtaining, regsitration, and voting processes.

Back in 1965 Mrs. Clinton supported Goldwater if you want to bring up the politics of three generations ago.
Anyway, she’s always been just like Madonna, continually reinventing herself in order to remain relevant: and this — not uncynical — stunt is merely another example. Fortunately voters are too thick to connect permanent self-revolution to inauthenticity.

Actually, yes:

I don’t trust the state government of Alabama – they say it’s about budget issues, I don’t believe them, at least not based on this. They say that it’s no big deal to get a photo ID and voter ID, I don’t believe them, at least not based on this. When they say everything’s okay when services are cut for black people, I don’t believe them. That’s their track record. Everything related to voting should be reviewed at the federal level, in my view, in AL, MS, GA, my home state of LA, AR, and other states with similarly awful track records.

Holy crap. I thought that was a joke.

ITR, that’s egg on your face.

Wait a minute. The first line says a non-photo ID can be used. It’s unclear to me that the other three lines refer to photo IDs, but they don’t appear to. Do they?

Unless I misunderstand the meaning of the word “or”…

They don’t.

How many non-photo IDs have your full legal name and birth date?

Not familiar with all the particulars of this situation, but the governor asserts that every county will continue to have a primary location, and that those who have transportation challenges created by the closing of the satellites are provided access to mobile units. I assume the requirements had been the same at the satellite offices–no more or less restrictive.

So, 95+% of the constituency is not impacted at all, and those that may be are given an accommodation to ensure they have the same access to free licenses every one has. Is this factually wrong? If it is, I’d be interested. If not, I’ll suggest that crying “racism” frivolously hurts the cause of addressing the real institutional racism that still exists in our country.

What does this have to do with the closing of the satellite offices? Did those offices have less onerous requirements?

Yes–a non-photo ID with your full name and date of birth. Other than your birth certificate, this isn’t going to apply to many other documents, I suspect. And birth certificates are, for some people, tricky to come by.

Edit: however, there’s a fair point that you’d probably need such a document to get a driver’s license anyway, so it may turn out that the closure of these satellite offices isn’t such a big deal. I’ll provisionally concede that point.

Are any African Americans in Alabama themselves up in arms about this? Or is it all rhetoric from politicians?

The point is that they’ve created a process that potential voters have to go through. There are now opportunities for government officials to decide how tightly or loosely they choose to interpret the rules as individuals try to work through the process.

I expect a lot of people will run into issues like “The law says your name has to match on the two pieces of identification you provide. But this document says your name is John Smith and this one says your name is John R. Smith. Those aren’t matching names. So application denied.” Meanwhile another person will be told “These documents say your name is Bob Jones and Robert Jones. That’s the same name so application approved.”

I’m willing to bet that a year from now, you’ll find that a much higher percentage of black people than white people will have been denied the paperwork they need to vote. And conservative Republicans will be claiming that everyone went through the same process and the racial disparity is just a coincidence.

I’ll ask again: What does the closing of the satellite offices have to do with the requirements? Why would we see an impact a year from now re: paperwork requirements that we haven’t already seen?

Because not everyone reads this thread? Because information doesn’t always flow like water to the places it’s needed?

Folks without driver’s licenses are, forgive my stereotyping, disproportionately folks without home access to the Internet. They’re also likely folks with less convenient transportation. If they learn about the new ID requirements, they might go to where the driver’s license bureau is, discover it’s closed, and throw up their hands, not knowing there’s an alternative way to get an ID in their county.

Not everyone in that situation will, of course. But voting is a game of numbers, of percentages. Every hurdle thrown up in the way of access to the ballot is going to shave some voters off the rolls. Throw up enough small hurdles–each of them defensible on wide-eyed innocent “It’s just a coincidence!” grounds–and you can sway an election.

This is a far more insidious threat to democracy than bogus worries about voter fraud.