Election officials concerned about new voter photo ID law

Election officials concerned about new voter photo ID law

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Barry Stevenson expressed his concerns to Jefferson County Commissioners about the impact of the new voter photo ID law. Source: WBRC video Barry Stevenson expressed his concerns to Jefferson County Commissioners about the impact of the new voter photo ID law. Source: WBRC video
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Jefferson County election officials are concerned about the impact of Alabama's new voter photo ID law.

Outgoing Sec. of State Beth Chapman announced the new requirement last week. It will start in January of 2014 where all voters will be required to present a voter photo ID before they vote.

If a voter does not have an ID card, the state will provide a free one for them.

"They mentioned they would provide the equipment and the paper but...I haven't seen anything about actually covering the cost that we will incur," Barry Stevenson, Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Registrars said.

Stevenson told county commissioners of his concerns Tuesday during committee meetings. Stevenson said he supports the law but even if the state provides the equipment county employees will have to work the machines, adding to their work load around election time.

"Jefferson County has more voters than any other county in the state. There is a potential to have a lot of people in our offices needing IDs at the same time we have to conduct our election in a proper fashion," Stevenson said.

Jefferson County Commissioners continue to struggle to provide services to the voters and taxpayers due to their financial troubles.

"It's an unfunded mandate. We will give you technology, give you the equipment. You are going to have to run it," Commissioner Jimmie Stephens said.

Stevenson says the board of registrars and the county's revenue department will be getting machines to provide the free voter photo IDs.

Stevenson plans to meet with state election officials to see if there is a way to lessen the county's cost.

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