Gus Malzahn and Nick Saban are going head to head in an unexpected contest: the public service announcement.
The two head coaches recorded 30-second videos supporting a statewide voter identification drive run by John Merrill, Alabama's secretary of state. They used the same script in both videos, changing only the names of each man's wife and team battle cry.
"To be an impact player in football as well as in life, you have to be prepared to make a difference," said Saban and Malzahn. "One of the most significant ways to make a positive impact on your community, state or nation is by participating in the electoral process."
Our question for readers is, whose video was better? Gus seemed to stumble out of the block with reading the script. Saban had some issues with the way the camera framed only half of his hand motions and made them look odd. Who do you think won?
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Even if you don't watch the videos, they'll be played on the jumbotrons at Jordan-Hare and Bryant-Denny Stadium, according to a release. You can even get a poster of this from your local Board of Registrar's office. It's the perfect way to combine two of most commonly associated passions: football and voter registration.
It's all to get you to vote
All this is a way to help voters navigate Alabama's somewhat confusing voter registration laws. After the passage of HB-19 in 2011, Alabama voters need a valid form of photo identification to take part at the polls. Acceptable IDs include a driver's license, passport or state, federal, government employee, military, tribal or student ID.
If you don't have any of those, you can pick up a free photo voter ID card from the courthouse, a Board of Registrar's office or one of these voter ID drives the secretary of state's office is holding.
Clay Helms, supervisor of voter registration for the secretary of state's office, said his office is working on holding a voter ID drive in all of Alabama's 67 counties.
Helms said the Russell County drive already happened on July 1 at the Phenix City Activity Center and Hurtsboro City Hall. There are no plans at the moment to revisit Russell County, according to Helms.
However, the schedule of planned voter ID drive locations lists two visits to Lee County on Oct. 14 and Nov. 4. Both will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Smiths Station City Hall.
Remember also that in order to pick up your voter ID card, you need to already be registered to vote. You can do that by calling 1-800-274-8683 or visiting Alabama's website.
So, to recap: Register to vote first, then go to the courthouse or one of the Lee County drives to get a free voter ID, but only if you don't already have one of the other valid IDs listed above, and don't forget to bring everything to the polls in November 2016.