Out-of-state voter registration groups mailing pre-filled voter registration forms to Alabamians are targeting "primarily Democratic voter blocks," according to Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen.

The Voter Participation Center (VPC) and Center for Voter Information (CVI) plan on sending at least two mass mailings of pre-filled voter registration forms to Alabama citizens beginning as early as this month, according to a statement from the Alabama Secretary of State's Office on Monday. 

According to its website, VPC is a "non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing voter registration in the United States among young people, people of color and unmarried women." The CVI is a partner organization with the Voter Participation Center.

Allen has said he opposes the groups' efforts, saying they're "unnecessary, confusing, and counterproductive." Tom Lopach, CEO of VPC and CVI, said in a statement to 1819 News on Monday, "In a press release issued today, the Alabama Secretary of State grossly mischaracterized the essential work that we do to register eligible Americans to vote. The goal of the Voter Participation Center and Center for Voter Information is to register and turn out eligible voters in Alabama. This is non-partisan work and its aim is one that all election administrators should support. This is about bringing democracy to eligible American's doorsteps. VPC and CVI focus largely on underrepresented populations — people of color, young people, and unmarried women."

VPC and CVI will be sending out more than 138,000 mailers to Alabamians, according to Lopach.

Allen said on Wednesday, "The response issued by the Voter Participation Center and Center for Voter Information fails to refute and, in fact, advances our position that these groups are using targeted, partisan tactics." 

"The claim that these groups are non-partisan is false and is completely contradicted when the groups publicly reveal their targeted demographic to be primarily Democratic voter blocks," Allen said. "As Secretary of State, I want all eligible Alabamians, not just specific voter blocks, to be able to register to vote using the proper channels. These groups' unsolicited efforts to advance a political agenda directly contradict this ideal and are not welcome in Alabama. Further, I would like to make very clear that the only "misleading and alarming" message to Alabama citizens has been at the hands of VPC and CVI. VPC and CVI are unable to deny the instances of errors in their mailers and, in fact, instruct the Alabama citizens who will inevitably receive inaccurately pre-filled mailers to discard them. Trusted voter registration can be found online at www.AlabamaVotes.gov. This Office and the Boards of Registrars in all 67 counties are here to assist eligible Alabama citizens in the process of registering to vote."

National political observers expect Alabama's 2nd Congressional District general election race in November to be one of the most competitive in the country. Republicans and Democrats will decide their nominees for the race on April 16.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.

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