Hillary makes bogus claim of racism in Alabama.

And what about the fact that the satellite offices were typically located in the same exact building as the full time offices?

All this means for a large portion of these voters is that they will have to walk to a different office - it should not be some herculean task that African American or poor voters are unable to adjust to because of their status as disadvantaged populations.

Is 5% the acceptable level, then? Less than that is OK and hunky-dory, more than that might actually be troublesome?

Does this effort impact the poor and/or black more than the comfortably white? If that isn’t racism, is it racism lite? Is just a dash of racism acceptable, spices up the political soufflé?

And, of course, as we have discussed Pitward, this is about stemming the dreadful threat of voter fraud. Is there any real need here, to review the colossal bogosity of that threat?

We have it on the very best authority that “some” Republicans have malign motives in this sort of thing. Have we any good reason to encourage them?

That still has nothing to do with the requirements for obtaining a license, the requirements that existed when the satellites were in place and that continue to exist now that they’re closed. I think that someone who somehow figured out where a satellite office was has suddenly become incapable of making a phone call absurd. But, again, it has zero to do with how the paperwork requirements will show an impact a year after the offices are closed. If the requirements are onerous, that’s a separate issue.

Again, I don’t know all the details. But the governor asserts that mobile units are available to those with transportation challenges created by the office closures. Is that false? If not, how is anyone, including the <5% who use the satellite offices, inconvenienced to any material degree?

If it’s Alabama, it’s about as frivolous to assume racism as it is to assume a cat playing with a mouse has ulterior motives.

This is an example of what gives ammunition to the tribe that reacts with, “See? It’s all bullshit.” Even though it’s NOT all bullshit. It’s feeding a dangerous confirmation bias to start with the assumption that anything that could be racist, is. Because virtually anything could be racist.

There is racism. Let’s focus on that, and wear down the disbelievers through sheer repetition of righteous, factual offenses.

It’s interesting in a forum where the tag line is “Fighting Ignorance” the response in this thread has largely been “I don’t care what the facts say, I think Alabama sucks so anything they do is racist, fuck Alabama.” That shows a basic unwillingness to actually investigate the issue further.

The only actual facts we appear to have, are that no county lost its ability to provide this service due to these closures. These satellite offices appeared to be only open one day per week, and were often co-located near other offices that can do the same service. I think it’s actually more realistic to say that of the 5% of the population who were making use of these offices an even smaller section will not be inconvenienced at all by the decision to shut them down.

The issue of voter ID laws being irrelevant to this discussion–the closure of this offices appears to have no meaningful impact on anything. Those asserting otherwise should probably find some evidence to support their position other than “I hate Alabama and everyone there is racist”, because that isn’t evidence of anything other than an admission you’re unwilling to turn skepticism and a critical eye to the issue.

It would be nice if we had a more objective source than The National Review for what these satellite offices are. I looked, by my Google-fu isn’t very strong this morning. At present it just looks like everyone lining up with their team and throwing barbs at the other side (except for LHoD who is at least open to the idea that not all the facts are out there yet).

Seriously? It will probably take someone all day to get a license now, instead of an hour at the local satellite office. IF he can get off work for a day.

Unless there’s a huge fleet of “mobile units” that gives them door-to-door service and waits patiently while they stand in the now-much-longer lines at the remaining DMVs. I’m guessing it’s probably more like one bus per county, with very limited pickup points. And even then, I don’t see how paying for a driver plus gas plus bus maintenance would save much money over a DMV clerk.

I’m skeptical but open to the possibility that this is on the up-and-up, but with the state’s track record, I think everything that even just might affect anything relating to voting from AL and certain other states should be reviewed by the justice department.

The thing is, if you have voter ID laws, you need to be making IDs more easily available. They’re making them less easily available. No, probably not by all that much. But they are doing it.

This wouldn’t matter one bit if they hadn’t chosen to connect IDs with voting rights. But, now that they have, anything that has the potential to reduce the number of IDs will become an issue like this.

The only “more information” that would help would be that there’s some massive campaign to get more IDs out there, or that they would reduce requirements in light of this change.

That doesn’t mean I know they are being racist. I have no idea, and race really didn’t even enter into it. The voter ID thing is about poor people, and about disenfranchising liberals.

(And, to be honest, in a state that reliably goes red, it’s hard for me to care too much about voter ID. It’s only the fact that it makes it more normal that bugs me.)

Do you have any actual evidence to back up your disbelief of any of these things? Obviously events that took place in Alabama three generations ago don’t tell us anything about the motivations of Alabama’s government today. (And today Alabama has a Republican governor and legislative majority; in the Jim Crow era, it had Democratic governors and legislative majorities.)

Skepticism is justified, and I wouldn’t take the governor’s word for it on face value, either. But there are some facts out there, I think, that will shed light on this. It would be nice if we could dig into them instead of rushing to a conclusion.
And I’d be a lot more skeptical if this happened during the summer next year, since this leaves a lot of time for people to adjust, if any adjustment is actually needed.

Wow. You really think that will work here?

Do you have any evidence that it does?

Let me remind you of the two things that have already been established. The closing of the satellite DMV offices does not have any effect on who can get a driver’s license, nor does it have any effect on who can get any other form of ID. It does not even change where anyone has to go to get an ID. People can get a free ID card in the same building as where the satellite DMV offices are located.

Given those facts, what evidence can you offer that closing the satellite offices has impacts any group more than any other?

They could do it “Minnesota style”. A prospective registration requires some proof of address, say, a utility bill, and a registered voter who will attest under penalty of perjury that you are well known to that registered voter, that you are who you say you are. Bada-boom, bada-bing, you are a registered voter!

The voter registration van is equipped with computerized photo equipment and a device for printing and embossing photo id’s that attest to voter registration, with a copy e-mailed to a central registry. If you lose your card, a photo id still resides on the computer network. If they can afford a cheap laptop and a modem, no prob, Bob. So, yeah, that mobile van idea could work, unless its just a mobile center for you to go find out why you can’t be registered.

Finding a way to get unregistered voters onto the voting rolls isn’t a problem. Coming up with a rationalization for why it can’t happen requires some ingenuity.

I don’t think that’s obvious – I think recent statements by various Republican party officials have made it pretty clear that many Republicans believe making it harder to vote will help them politically and advocate for such actions. In my experience from being raised in the region (Louisiana, for me), many of the people making up the government in the Deep South have very similar beliefs and goals as they did in past decades.

I’m all fine with digging, and I’m sure it will be dug. As far as motives, there don’t even need to be particularly sinister motives for this to be wrong (and if so, hopefully found illegal) – even a “meh, don’t particularly want to pay for that stuff since not too many people are using it” could be a motive for actions that actually restrict or otherwise damage the right for certain people to vote.

This could all be solved pretty easily – universal voter registration, same-day registration, free IDs for everyone, coupled with things like voting by mail. It should be really easy for every voter to vote, and then there’s no problem here. Except for the people who actually don’t want some people to vote.

Per the Guv and the National Review (what we have right now):

Unless this is false (and despite John’s comments, I too have said repeatedly I don’t have all the facts), your “probably” statement is just the sort of knee-jerk I was describing.

Much longer lines? Less than 5% of the people used the satellite offices. Your bias is showing.

I don’t think you should reflexively dismiss the possibility that this is droll sarcasm. Think for a second or so, first, and then…

Just to be clear, your source, not an unbiased one btw, says that the offices in question are “typically” located in the same buildings as the DMV, not that they all are. It’s pretty clear that you are accepting the Republican’s side of the story at face value in the same way the other folks are accepting the Democrat’s side.