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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

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Progress in the detection of malignant redistricting.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Ranked-choice voting: A better way or chaos?

Professor Edward Foley’s book, “Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States” was quoted in The Ellsworth American, in an article about ranked-choice voting in Maine.

Plurality language was added to Maine’s Constitution in 1880 after none of the candidates for governor in the election of 1879 received a majority vote.

“After this ordeal, the state eliminated the requirement that a gubernatorial candidate win a majority in order to win the office outright; instead, a plurality would suffice,” Foley writes.
 

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Info & Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Texas\' Request for Stay in Redistricting Case

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