Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that the state of Alabama is shutting down access to voter ID cards is false, according to local government and transportation records.
Clinton made headlines this weekend in Alabama for calling the state’s new voter ID law, coupled with the state’s closure of 31 driver’s license offices as part of necessary budget cuts, “a blast from the Jim Crow past.”
“We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” Clinton told supporters at a speech in Hoover, Alabama. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote.”
But Alabama does not require a driver’s license for voting. The state accepts employee IDs from the state or any county or state entity. The state is literally going around distributing official Alabama photo ID cards in a traveling van.
Eight different “Mobile ID” events will be held between this coming Saturday, October 24, and November 14 in the following locations: Blount County, Etowah County, Jefferson County, Covington County, Pike County, Shelby County, Lee County, and finally Dallas County. Each event will last at least two hours.
Can’t make it to one of those events? No worries.
Alabama has a Board of Registrars in each of the state’s 67 counties. Each county’s Board of Registrars is appointed by three state executives including the governor, and the Board works only on voter registration. Each Registrars office distributes photo ID cards. Let’s look at Shelby County, where Clinton spoke this weekend.
“Voter registration forms may be found at the office of the Board of Registrars, the satellite licensing offices located in Inverness and Pelham, or any public library in the state,” according to the website for the Shelby County Board of Registrars.
The Board of Registrars is for voter registration only. Information on vehicle and other registrations and licenses may be found via the license office,” the website states.
The Shelby County Board of Registrars is open from 8 AM to 4:30 PM every day at the Butch Ellis Building on West College Street in Columbiana, a stone’s throw from Shelby County Courthouse and several blocks from Piggly Wiggly and Oaxaca Mexican Grill.
If you can’t make it to downtown Columbiana, you can pick up an ID at the satellite licensing office over at Inverness Corners Shopping Center. Inverness Corners Shopping Center is located 20.6 miles from the Board of Registrars, so approximately 28 minutes without traffic, according to Google.
(License Office at Inverness Corners Shopping Center, shelbyal.com)
The shopping center is located only blocks from three bus stops at Inverness Plaza, the corner of Valleydale Road, and the Inverness Corner bus station, making it accessible to those needing public transportation.
Though a highway cut-through frequently used by Inverness Corners shoppers on U.S. 280 was eliminated last year, the elimination of the cut-through actually helped make it even safer to navigate to the shopping center from the highway.
“[The Alabama Department of Transportation] says its observations show the short cut was causing vehicles to stack into the westbound lanes, blocking traffic — especially in the afternoon when there are fewer red lights for traffic flowing through both directions on U.S. 280,” according to the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. “Second, they noticed eastbound vehicles waiting to make the U-turn to head for Cahaba Beach Road blocked the view of drivers coming the opposite direction who were trying to turn left into Inverness Corners. This sometimes caused them to ease into the eastbound lanes a bit, hindering 280’s eastbound flow.”