FAIRHOPE — During the 2022 election cycle, some voters in Etowah and Lauderdale Counties were assigned the wrong precincts and districts after a round of redistricting by the Alabama Legislature.
Mistakes in those two counties led to some voting irregularities that could not be resolved after the primary elections.
At an appearance in Baldwin County at the monthly Eastern Shore Republican Women's meeting, Secretary of State Wes Allen told attendees he had resolved to fix those problems upon entering office.
"One of the things we decided to do early on — we saw in the primary back in 2022 around the state, there were a couple of instances to where there were individuals that went into the precinct, and they were not in the right district or right precinct, so they received the wrong ballot."
"[T]here were some issues in a couple of different counties, and some of these counties have been mapping using paper maps, pencils and a magnifying glass," Allen continued. "That's unacceptable. So, we set out on a path to figure this out. Let's figure out what we can do."
According to Allen, federal funding from the Help America Vote Act passed in 2002 to implement universal geographic information system (GIS) software in all 67 counties.
"There were some counties that did, that did a great job with their GIS services," he said. "But there were other counties that needed help — financial help or whatever else to make sure they put in software that they can rest assured that the voters are in the correct precincts and the correct district."
"The last thing that we want on Election Day is someone walking up to that table, talking to the poll worker, getting the wrong ballot for the wrong district, and we want to make sure they have the most up-to-date GIS information, mapping information for their districts and their precincts in these counties. So we made that available, a little over $1.1 million, for the counties around the state of Alabama."
Allen added that it was especially important with new court-imposed district lines, which he said included six counties in multiple congressional districts.
Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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