Secretary Of State Says Cost For Mobile Voter ID Sites About $500,000


By Catalina Trivino

You'll need a photo ID to vote in Alabama, starting in June. Most of us have a driver's license for ID, but for those who don't, the Secretary of State's Office is going to rural areas to help people get free voter ID cards.

But with the small number of people showing up, is the cost worth it?

This project is costing the state a half million dollars. Secretary of State, Jim Bennett, says turnout has been light, so is the cost worth it?

This mobile voter ID site in Autaugaville looked like this -- you were lucky to see someone come in -- an empty hallway, no lines. A total of three people signed up.

Here's another site in Wilcox County. One person showed up in an hour. A total of about eight people signed up for their voter ID's. In Tallapoosa County, only one person signed up.

Secretary of State, Jim Bennett says the low turnout is because the project has only been going on a week.

"Well, we don't expect a big rush to do this, I think that indicates most people have drivers licenses already and they don't need this," Said Bennett.

So why spend about a half a million dollars? State representative, Joe Hubbard, says requiring people to have a voter ID to vote is unneccessary.

"To pass a law to fix a problem that doesn't exist... in my judgement, is a waste of money to start with," Said Hubbard.

But Bennett says it's more about filling in the gaps. 11 percent of voters do not have all of the identification they need to vote.

"We're just in the first three counties so we're not at all surprised that it's not a big rush. We're doing this for need, not to generate high traffic volume because we just don't think that's there anyway," Said Bennett.

But now that the law is a done deal, Hubbard believes the half a million dollars that was spent may not have been enough.

"Did you spend enough money in the place to educate the folks who are affected by this law that they need to come out and learn what the changes are and how they go about preserving the right to vote. I submit if you only have three people showing up, you didn't spend enough money," Said Hubbard.

Bennett says as this project takes off, he believes more people will start to visit these mobile sites.He's hoping to register at least 1,000 people.

Bennett says you can also get a free voter ID from your  Board of Registrar's office. Tomorrow there will be two locations where you can sign up to get a free voter ID card:

You can visit the Civic Center in Millbrook between 9 a.m. and noon at 3168 Park Circle Millbrook, AL or at the Carmichael Mercer Civic Center in Elmore between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m at 485 Jackson Street Elmore, AL.

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