An Alabama House committee has approved a bill that would require voters to show valid photo identification at the polls before casting a ballot.
The House Constitution and Elections Committee approved the bill on an 8-3 vote. The bill by Republican Rep. Gerald Allen of Cottondale now goes to the full House for debate.
The bill would strengthen the current law that allows a number of alternatives to photo identification, including a hunting or fishing license, a utility bill or a pistol permit.
The bill is mostly supported by Republican legislators. It has been opposed by black lawmakers, who say it would make it harder for elderly and low income residents to vote.
Allen told committee members that requiring voters to prove their identity will protect the election process.