WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Sept. 18, Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen (R) announced the state’s newly developed Alabama Voter Integrity Database (AVID), an in-state database that will be used to maintain voter registration rolls.
In today’s press conference, Allen described a “four-prong system” to maintain the state’s voter rolls. This entails an agreement with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to identify those who have obtained state IDs elsewhere, comparing the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address list against Alabama’s active voter registration list, building partnerships to share data with five neighboring states and utilizing the Social Security Death Index to identify deceased voters.
Only the fourth part of AVID will immediately remove individuals from Alabama’s voter rolls. As is required by the National Voter Registration Act, those flagged by any of the first three prongs of AVID will be placed on inactive status. The names must be maintained for four years before they can be removed and a voter can reclaim active status by updating their registration.
The announcement follows Alabama’s withdrawal from the bipartisan Electronic Registration Information Center, an information-sharing database known popularly as ERIC, which was created in 2012 to be a national database with relevant information for states to use in support of voter roll maintenance.
AVID will essentially provide the same service as ERIC, but is not a private entity, nor does it boast as many state partnerships, which strengthens ERIC’s ability to properly maintain its members’ voter rolls.
Last year, fueled by election-denying conspiracies, Allen campaigned on the promise to leave ERIC if elected. Quickly making good on that promise, a day after being sworn into office, Allen announced the state’s departure from the voter-registration partnership. The withdrawal was particularly striking as Alabama’s previous Secretary of State John Merrill (R) was an ardent and vocal supporter of ERIC. However, to the detriment of voters, ERIC has become a target for election-denying Republicans in the last year and nine states, all Republican-controlled, have left the organization.