Allen: Alabama to leave voter registration partnership with the secretary of state
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama will stop accepting assistance from the state’s voter registration office under a new state law.
The state will end the practice of sharing state voter registration information with the secretary of state’s office when an eligible voter has not registered, officials said Wednesday.
The secretary of state’s office operates under the same federal legal authority as the office of the state’s voter registration. When an eligible voter does not register in time to cast a ballot, it takes them to court.
The secretary of state has the ability to ask for and get a criminal conviction against a voter that doesn’t meet deadlines for registration. Alabama officials expect the change to have no effect on voter fraud prevention, officials said.
Voters will still be eligible to register for the first time by going to their county registrar’s office, which will keep a record of the voter’s information from the state.
The change is not the secretary of state’s office issuing a new voter registration card, said Julie Rogers, the state’s executive secretary of state.
“No, this is not what is going on on the side,” Rogers said. “This is for the secretary of state’s office. They will accept this as their official card for the purpose of registering voters.”
The secretary of state will continue to accept registrations from a voter that meets filing deadlines for voter registration, said Michael Stinziano, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.
The process will be a little different because the secretary of state’s office will be able to access state voter files, he said.
The voter information will be combined with the voter information from the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Division of Vital Statistics to determine a voter’s citizenship status, he said. That information is also needed to determine eligibility to register to vote.
“We will keep the information together, and that will be used as is,” Stinziano said. “The state is not going to be