Voter File Maintenance–Three Methods

Under the National Voter Registration Act and state law, voters remain on the voting list unless their qualifications change. A person may be removed from the voter rolls by the board of registrars only if the board determines that the voter is no longer qualified to vote in its county. At the same time, an eligible voter cannot be disenfranchised by his or her name being removed by mistake.

Voters may not be removed from the list simply because they have not voted for some period of time. Just as voters may choose to exercise their right to vote, they may choose not to exercise their right to vote.

Alabama must follow three voter file maintenance methods and federal law to maintain voters files:

  1. The traditional disqualification method
  2. The continuous purging of the list method
  3. The mail-in address verification method

The Disqualification Method

Official notice plays a large part in the disqualification method, because evidence that a voter is no longer eligible to vote in the county must be confirmed.

The reasons for removing a name from the voter roles and the official sources of information to confirm such evidence include:

Continuous Purging of the Voter List Method

The “purge method” of removing voters from the statewide voter registration list includes the following steps:

1.   Receive and confirm information that a voter has died, become a nonresident of the state or county, been declared mentally incompetent, or been convicted of a felony crime of moral turpitude as provided in Article

2.   Upon receiving sufficient information that any elector has permanently moved within the county, the board will change the precinct and notify the elector by mail.

3.   Give notice to the elector that the voter will be stricken from the list of registered voters. A registrant convicted of a disqualifying offense must be notified by certified mail. The notice sent to those to be stricken from the list must include the date that the board of registrars will meet to decide whether or not the names will be stricken.

4.   The board of registrars hears and decides each case. The voter must be given an opportunity to appear before the board and present evidence as to why his or her name should not be taken off the voter rolls.

5.   Registrants removed from the list by the board of registrars have the right to appeal the decision to the judge of probate. An appeal from the judge of probate may be appealed to the circuit court.

6.   Any person whose name is removed from the list of qualified voters for failure to reidentify must reidentify before voting.

7.   A person who reidentifies shall be eligible to have their name restored to the list of qualified voters.

Address Verification Program Method

The postcard address verification program began in January of 1997 with subsequent verifications every four years, i.e. 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013, etc.

The steps for the address verification program are as follows: