Every county in Alabama now receives election services from a Geographical Information System (GIS) as of Tuesday, according to Secretary of State Wes Allen.

A GIS is computer hardware and software that stores, manages and edits geographic data. This, Allen said, will help district voters and administer elections in the future.

“Utilizing GIS for voter district assignment and precinct assignment is highly accurate when compared to paper mapping and drawing,” Allen stated in a press release. “We are proud to utilize these funds to assist our local election officials on whom the security and accuracy of our elections depend.”

According to the statement, the Secretary of State funds the GIS using federal dollars. His office started covering the GIS service fee on October 1 and intends to continue covering it through at least July 2025. 

1819 News asked Allen’s office if he expected the adoption of a GIS to help prevent issues that occurred during the last election cycle, such as when voters in some areas of Etowah County received ballots for elections in districts where they no longer lived.

In July 2022, Kimberly Butler, a candidate for the Republican nomination for House District 2 who failed to make the runoff by only 14 votes, contested the results of the May 24 primary. Butler claimed Lauderdale County voters were given ballots for the wrong district.

Allen said he fully expected that the program would help resolve such issues once fully implemented. 

“It’s a win for Alabama that we can extend GIS services for voter districting and election management to new counties in Alabama and ease the financial burden for counties that already have them,” he said.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email will.blakely@1819news.com or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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