MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Monday, Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen announced a new voter database the state will use to manage Alabama’s voter registration list.
This comes after Allen withdrew Alabama from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a national voter database, earlier this year.
Allen called the new system the Alabama Voter Integrity Database, or AVID. He says it’s the first of its kind in the country and will use four methods to maintain voter rolls.
One way is through agreements with other states that will share voter data. Allen said all secretaries of state of bordering states — Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee — have signed on, as well as Arkansas.
ERIC has 25 states plus DC sharing data, with Texas set to withdraw next month.
Allen said his office will work to grow the number of states who agree to share data but said the agreements have already helped identify voters who may have moved.
“We have identified 8,501 voters who have more recently registered to vote or voted in Tennessee but continued to appear on Alabama’s voter registration list,” Allen said. “Data exchanges with the other four states will begin soon.”
Other methods include an agreement with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to identify people who have left the state and gotten a driver’s license or ID in another state. AVID will also use the National Change of Address File, as well as the Social Security Death Index.
“This will be an incredible tool in detecting voter fraud and protecting our elections,” Allen said.
When Allen withdrew the state from ERIC, he cited privacy concerns. He said the main difference is that now the data will be stored in Alabama.
“This is going to be the Alabama-based solution that we promised on day one that we would do,” he said. “We pulled us out of ERIC and we had a solution. We’re implementing that solution now.”
Under the new system, a voter who is identified as dead will be removed immediately. A voter who is identified as having moved out of state will be sent a postcard to the address on file telling them to update their information or withdraw voter registration if they left Alabama.
If a person is confirmed to no longer live in the state, he or she will then be considered “inactive.” Federal law says you must wait four years before removing someone from the voter rolls.