INSTITUTE INDEX: Alabama DMV closings the latest threat to voting rights in the Black Belt

This map from the Brennan Center for Justice (click on it for a larger version) shows the racial demographics of the Alabama counties where part-time DMV offices are slated for closure. Those offices are where citizens can get one of the few IDs required to vote.

Number of part-time driver's license offices Alabama plans to close, with most of them in the state's so-called "Black Belt" where African Americans outnumber whites: 31

Year in which the state began enforcing a controversial voter ID law that requires would-be voters to show one of a limited number of ID forms including a driver's license: 2014

Estimated number of Alabama's registered voters who lack the required driver's license or non-driver ID issued by the Department of Public Safety: 250,000 to 500,000

In the Alabama counties where blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters, percent where DMV offices will close: 100

In Alabama's 11 majority-black counties, number where DMV offices are set to close: 8

In the 55 Alabama counties that are majority-white, percent where license-issuing offices will remain open: 40

Of the 10 Alabama counties that voted most overwhelmingly for President Obama in the last election, number where DMV offices will close: 8

Percent of Alabama's population that lives more than 10 miles away from the nearest license-issuing office open more than two days a week: 32

Number of years ago that Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a Boston seminary student and voting rights activist, was murdered by a special deputy while helping black citizens register in Lowndes County, among those where the DMV office is set to close: 50

Year in which voting rights marcher Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot to death by Alabama state troopers in Perry County, where the DMV is also set to close: 1965

Year in which, partly in response to those killings and other violence, Congress finally passed the Voting Rights Act, transforming the Black Belt's political landscape: 1965

Year in which an Alabama county prevailed in a lawsuit that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act, opening the door to strict voter ID laws like Alabama's: 2013

Date on which the NAACP Legal Defense Fund wrote to warn Alabama officials their plan likely violates the Constitution as well as Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which remains in force: 10/2/2015

Date on which U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) asked the Justice Department to investigate Alabama's DMV closings: 10/5/2015

Days after Sewell's request that civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson flew to Alabama to discuss the closings with Gov. Robert Bentley (R), who has insisted they have nothing to do with voting rights: 2

Hours Jackson met with Bentley, whose office issued a statement afterward saying he and the Legislative Black Caucus "agreed to work together to find solutions to further fund driver license offices in Alabama's rural counties": 1

(Click on figure to go to source.)