In the wake of voter suppression laws and the upcoming shutdown of 31 DMV offices in mostly black communities, Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) called upon the Justice Department to investigate the voter suppression implications of the DMV closures.

“I grew up in Selma; I’m a third-generation Alabamian,” said Sewell. “My own dad stood in lines for water fountain labeled ‘colored.’ So now it’s frightening that we’re seeing a renewed assault on voting rights, including these DMV closures. It’s unconscionable and we should not just sit back and let this happen.”

During an event on Tuesday, Sewell discussed how half of the DMV offices in her district were closing this month. The closings affect predominantly poor, black communities. About 250,000 eligible voters in Alabama lack proper ID.

Republican officials say that underprivileged voters can obtain free IDs via a mobile licensing office, but only 29 voters have gotten IDs this way. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” Republican Secretary of State John Merrill said. “The fact that people don’t get them, that’s not our fault.”

But, it is conservatives’ fault. They are trying to keep black people from voting by narrowing the means of obtaining the proper voter ID.

For more on this story, visit ThinkProgressAfter Alabama Enforces Voter ID, Shuts Down DMVs In Black Communities, Lawmaker Wants Investigation”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced