Press Release

ROCK THE VOTE STATEMENT ON ALABAMA DMV CLOSINGS

Washington, DC - October 10, 2015

Rock the Vote President Ashley Spillane released the following statement after Alabama announced plans to close 31 DMV offices:

“Our democracy is strongest when more people exercise their right to vote, and as a principle, we ought to encourage everyone who is eligible to have their voice heard at the ballot box. The closures of the DMV offices – most of which are happening in counties with majority African American populations and large student populations – combined with strict voter ID laws are making it more difficult for young people and people of color to vote.”

Background:

After the 2013 Shelby County v Holder U.S. Supreme Court decision, Alabama implemented a strict voter ID law without federal oversight. Now, Alabama is making it even harder to obtain the most common government-issued photo ID required to vote, announcing its plans to close 31 DMV offices due to budget shortfalls.

Most of DMV closures are happening in majority African American counties. As reported by the Birmingham News, “every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed.”

The photo ID law that is now in place in Alabama—along with the closing of these DMVs—impacts a disproportionate number of African Americas, young and poor people, populations that are historically already less likely to have access to the ballot.

Rock the Vote has put together a guide about how to get a photo ID in those 31 counties now that the DMVs are closed. Also what sort of photo IDs are acceptable and where you can find the mobile ID van that is traveling across the state. Find that guide here.

About Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote is the largest non-profit and non-partisan organization in the United States building the political power of young people. Fusing pop culture, politics, and technology, Rock the Vote works to mobilize the millennial voting bloc and the youth vote, protect voting rights, and advocate for an electoral process and voting system that works for the 21st century electorate. Since 1990, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the use of pop culture, music, art and technology to inspire political activity. Now, for almost 25 years, Rock the Vote has pioneered ways to make voting easier by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections for young adults.

Rock the Vote has run the largest voter registration drives for young people on record during the past six Presidential elections. In 2008 and 2012, our on-the-ground efforts, online organizing, and cutting-edge tools and technologies made us the largest non-partisan voter engagement campaign in the nation. All of these efforts have resulted in Rock the Vote processing nearly seven million voter registrations, bringing millions more to the polls, and becoming a trusted resource for young people, government agencies, and technological innovators passionate about political discourse and engagement.

Contacts:

Kiki Burger | media@rockthevote.com | 202.719.9910