With Alabama’s voter ID law debuting today, state Republicans are offering a big cash reward to anyone who helps them dig up some voter fraud. But finding voters disenfranchised by the law isn’t difficult, even without financial incentives.
Willie Mims, 93, showed up to vote at his polling place in Escambia County Tuesday morning for Alabama's primary elections. Mims, who is African-American, no longer drives, doesn't have a license, and has no other form of ID. As a result, he was turned away without voting. Mims wasn't even offered the chance to cast a provisional ballot, as the law requires in that situation.
Mims talked about what happened in this video shot by Empower Alabama:
Jenny McCharen of Empower Alabama, a progressive group that gave Mims a ride to the polls, recounted the story for msnbc. McCharen said Mims’s voter file showed he has voted in every election since 2000, as far back as the records go.
How many Alabamans lack ID isn’t known—in part because the state made no effort to find out before the ID law. But nationwide, most studies put the figure at around 11%, and as high as 25% for African-Americans.
The chairman of the Alabama GOP wrote online that the party would give $1,000 to anyone with information leading to a voter fraud conviction.