BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Kay Ivey put pen to paper on Wednesday banning curbside voting in the state of Alabama.
This prohibits election workers from setting curbside voting areas and moving polling machines outside a voting precinct. The issue on voting restriction came to light when advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit against Alabama, claiming the state’s voting laws were restrictive.
While Republicans tout the bill as a sense of voter security, Democrats see the bill as restrictive to voters.
“This bill is to ensure future elections and their integrity,” Senator Dan Roberts said.
“I think that this hurts voting,” Representative Neil Rafferty said.
Voting laws have been the discussing point across the nation since the 2020 Presidential Election, where Alabama had a historic turnout.
“Alabama had a historic turnout at 63.13%” Rafferty said.
Senator Roberts says voting security has been a priority of his for some time and believes this law will make it so.
“It’s about ballot security and the integrity of the interior of an election place so that no ballot or machine is removed or dealt with any differently,” Roberts said.
But Democrats like Rep. Rafferty see no need for this law.
“I think that Alabama has shown that they have a very secure election system. But we still have a low turnout rate,” Rafferty said.
Representative Rafferty says the state should focus on laws that will help voter turnout and not laws he believes hurts the voter.
“Curbside voting is considered a reasonable accommodation by the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Rafferty said. “I mean, there is a lot of potential possibilities and a lot of different other states have put into place and have been successful with it.”
While both sides may disagree on how to make voting better for citizens, they believe everyone should register to vote to have their voices heard.
“The whole essence of our country is that we are a democratically elected republic,” Roberts said.
“The same right just as you and I do to make sure that their voices are heard in their local government,” Rafferty said.
Secretary of State John Merrill has voiced his support on banning curbside voting during the process.
Senator Roberts says they want to work on other voting laws such as redistricting precincts for the state. He says a special session from Governor Ivey may be called within the near future on that subject.