The State of Alabama began issuing free voter IDs this week to voters lacking one of the acceptable types of ID for voting under the state’s new voter ID law.
While the Alabama law has not been without controversy, news coverage about its implementation only serves to highlight and re-emphasize exactly how much more restrictive the Texas voter ID law is by comparison.
- In Texas, student IDs are not acceptable forms of ID for voting. In Alabama, an ID from any public or private college or university in the state can be used.
- In Texas, government employer IDs, other than military IDs, cannot be used for voting. In Alabama, any federal, state, county, or city employee ID is acceptable.
- In Texas, only Texas drivers’ licenses and identification cards can be used. In Alabama, any ID issued by a state can be used.
- In Texas, to obtain a ‘free’ voter ID, a voter must use a birth certificate or other narrowly proscribed official documentation to get a voter ID. In Alabama, voters may use private employer IDs, high school IDs, and nursing home IDs to obtain a voter ID - and, if they don’t have any of those, they can use any non-photo documentation with the voter’s name and date of birth, including Medicare and Medicaid statements and official school transcripts.
- In Texas. election identification certificates are available only from select Department of Public Safety offices - and those notably aren’t available in every county. In Alabama, a voter ID can be obtained in each county at registrars’ offices.