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Litigation

United States v. Alabama

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: May 1, 2006 / September 18, 2008
State: Alabama
Issue: State Voter Registration Databases
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (Case 2:06-cv-00392-WKW-SRW)

Issue:

Whether Alabama has failed to comply with the Help America Vote Act by not implementing technology or procedures required to create a statewide voter registration database.

Status:

Substance of D's HAVA compliance plan accepted, timeline rejected. Court has appointed Governor Bob Riley as Special Master to administer the plan.  Final Status Report filed by the Special Master on 8/22/08.  Final Order and Judgment issued on 9/18/08.

Case Summary

In this case, the United States has brought an action to enforce the requirements of §303(a) and §303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 ("HAVA"). It is alleged that Defendants, the State of Alabama and the Alabama Secretary of State, have failed to comply with these HAVA requirements by failing to implement new technology that would create and maintain a centralized voter registration list. Specifically, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants have failed to: (1) publish any regulations regarding the creation of maintenance of a centralized voter registration list; (2) contract with any company to develop a centralized voter registration list; (3) develop technical requirements necessary for the implementation of a centralized voter registration list; (4) coordinate state agency databases with a centralized voter registration list; (5) require voter registration applicants to provide their driver license number or last four digits of their social security number; and, (6) coordinate with the Social Security Administration to match data from the centralized voter registration list with information from the federal social security number database. Accordingly, Plaintiff is now seeking declaratory and injunctive relief requiring Defendants to comply with these HAVA requirements.

District Court Documents

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Commentary

Edward B. Foley

A Special Master for the Cohen Case?

Edward B. Foley

There should be a strong presumption against special treatment just because the president is involved. 

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In the News

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U.S. Supreme Court upholds Ohio voter purging process

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in The Blade about Ohio’s voter purge law, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

 

“I don’t think there’s any real reason to believe that the drop-off is going to be significant,” Mr. Foley said. “The Ohio law that was upheld in this case never disenfranchised anybody.”

 

 

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Info & Analysis

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In a 5-4 decision that reversed the ruling of the District Court, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the drawing of most of the disputed Texas districts did not violate the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act. The case is Abbott v. Perez.

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