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SPLC accuses Alabama secretary of state of providing faulty voter info

On the eve of the nationally watched primary election, the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed that the Alabama Secretary of State's office provided incorrect voter information, resulting in thousands of voters in Alabama's newly drawn 2nd Congressional District. He accused several voters of being mailed incorrectly written voter cards. It was in District 7.

Secretary of State Wes Allen quickly denied that information, insisting that his office did not mail the cards and that the voter list maintained by his office was accurate.

The back-and-forth continued, and Montgomery city election officials were ensnared, and by the end of Monday it was still unclear who was at fault and how many incorrect cards had been mailed to voters. There wasn't.

“This is more than just a mistake. Misinformation provided to thousands of voters on the eve of a competitive primary election could have a significant impact on turnout and election outcomes for both Republicans and Democrats.” said Bradley Hurd, Deputy Attorney General for Democracy and Voting Rights. SPLC. “The scope of the problem requires an immediate audit and public accounting from Secretary Wes Allen's office.”

In a letter to the SPLC, Allen requested that the allegations be retracted and that the center's co-founder, Joe Levin, was sent a voter card showing his registration to vote in the 7th District. He argued that the SPLC's central claim is false. .

A letter from Mr. Allen's office stated, “No such mailings are distributed by our office.” “Furthermore, (Mr. Levin's) state voter registration file shows he is registered to vote in the 2nd Congressional District, not the 7th District listed in the release.”

The SPLC provided APR with a copy of the voter card sent to Mr. Levin's home. This shows he is registered to vote in the 7th District, and several other racially appropriate districts are also listed.

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Montgomery Probate Judge J.C. Love said the card came from the state registrar's office. The office is independent from the probate office.

A heated debate ensued over who, exactly, was to blame for the misinformation, and no resolution was reached.

Allen's office contends that the information used to create the card was submitted by county officials and that the Secretary of State has no authority over it. However, the SPLC pushed back on those claims by detailing how it investigated the erroneous card sent to Levin.

The voter file maintained by Allen's office is available to anyone who can spend $40,000 or more. The SPLC periodically purchases lists to check for errors and ensure the integrity of the voter list. The center's last purchase of voter rolls was earlier this year, and after Mr. Levine received the rolls, an SPLC spokesperson said the center's data division had examined the rolls and identified the wrong House districts. He said he has confirmed how many people are registered.

“…5,604 voters appear to have been incorrectly listed in their voter files as belonging to the 7th Congressional District instead of the newly created 2nd District,” the SPLC release states. has been done. “Of those voters, 4,513 are Black.”

But a spokesperson for Mr. Allen's office said the current list lists Mr. Levine in the correct district. The office also said it is receiving information from the county.

It is unclear when or how that information was changed. In fact, if it was just recently, campaigns that purchased information from Mr. Allen's office would have been able to reach fewer than 5,000 potential voters. Additionally, this mistake appears to be limited to Montgomery, which is a huge advantage for candidates who are well-known in other parts of the 2nd District.

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