Allegations against Alabama’s Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore have flooded the news over the last month. Moore stands accused of having assaulted a number of women, some whom were in their early teens at the time of their assaults. While Moore’s party and the president have thrown their support behind their nominee, the spotlight placed on Moore’s past has pushed away many other issues at play in this contested senate race.
The accusations against Moore don’t seem to have hurt the Senate hopeful’s chances in Tuesday’s election. Though ratings seem to swing from day to day, polls suggest there is a good chance that Moore may win. In a year that shouldn’t have even seen a Senate race happen, this too-close-to-Christmas election has not only taken some by surprise but comes at a moment where many in the state may be left unable or unprepared to vote at all.
Back in 2011, the state passed a law forcing all eligible voters to have a valid form of photo ID — meaning, most likely a driver’s license. In a state with disproportionately high numbers of people in poverty, many citizens don’t have access to a car, so they don’t have a license to speak of. With this law coming into effect at the start of 2017, and with a decision made in the last few weeks to close a number of licensing offices immediately, tens of thousands of mostly Black potential voters cannot get access to the necessary ID that would enable them to vote.
With some pointing to the correlation between the office closures being in the counties with the highest democratic voter turnout in the state, some are left wondering if this is a new form of voter suppression. Alabama is also one of the poorest states in the country, and it has the highest infant mortality rate (higher than some developing nations). Health care is often as hard to come by as a living wage job. While people struggle to survive, the senate race goes on, awkwardly, and seemingly in favor of embattled Moore.
Moore’s opponent, Democratic nominee Doug Jones, may have outspent and out-stumped Moore (who’s laid low during this election), but in the deeply red state, it may not matter. Although Jones has successfully prosecuted KKK members in the state, and has dedicated his campaign to getting the word out to those disenfranchised voters who may feel their voices won’t be heard on election day, voter suppression and Moore having his name sitting on the top of every day’s news cycle could spell disaster for the moderate Democrat.
In a rare stop on the campaign trail, Moore summed up why he believes he’ll win. Telling a Baptist church congregation in Theodore, “They [those who are fighting against him] are liberals, they don’t want conservative values. They’re the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender who want to change our culture. They’re socialists who want to change our way of life, putting man above God.” And, he added, “they are the Washington establishment.”
Moore refuses to discuss allegations against him, or accusations of voter suppression in the state.
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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty)