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Allen outlines new voter verification system

Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen on Monday unveiled a new four-pronged voter verification system that he said will make Alabama elections more secure. 

The new Alabama Voter Integrity Database is unlike anything else in the nation, Allen said at a press conference in the State Capitol.

“The implementation of AVID to help maintain our voter rolls is incredibly important,” Allen said. “We are the first state in the nation to implement a system like this and I am confident that we, as a result of AVID, will have the cleanest voter rolls that we have ever had.”  

Allen, elected secretary of state last year, had pledged to end Alabama’s participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center, a non-profit organization in which about 30 states participate to share voter registration data. He withdrew from ERIC soon after taking office in January. 

Outgoing Secretary of State John Merrill questioned the move and said the state had never had an issue with ERIC and that it preserves “a clean and accurate voter list.”

Allen outlined the four aspects of AVID.

 His office will work with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to identify registered voters who have moved and obtained a driver’s license or non-driver ID in other states.

So far, 8,041 active voters were identified as receiving licenses elsewhere. 

The office will also compare lists with other states that have signed a memorandum of understanding with Alabama and people registered in multiple states. Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee have signed MOUs with Alabama. So far, more than 8,000 people were identified as being registered in both Alabama and Tennessee, Allen said. Comparisons with other states will begin soon and Allen said more MOUs will follow.

“Because of the development of AVID, Alabama will be able to access the voter lists of every state that borders us for the first time in history,” Allen said Monday.

“… This will be an incredible tool in protecting (against) voter fraud and the integrity of our elections,” Allen said.

The state will also use the National Change of Address List to compare to the voter list and the Social Security Death Index to identify people on the voter list who are dead. 

As of earlier this month, the office has found more than 30,000 registered voters who have notified the United States Postal Service that they have relocated outside of Alabama.

Voters identified through AVID as possibly living out of state will be sent a postcard to their Alabama address and asked to update their information. It takes about four years to remove someone from voter rolls, Allen said.

He listed expenses related to AVID totaling about $12,000 so far.

“This is the Alabama-based solution that we promised,” Allen said.

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