Beginning in January of 2017, as required by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), the Alabama Secretary of State's Office began a process of contacting all 3.3 million registered Alabama voters. This process, also required under state law, is a two-part mailing program to contact voters and give them the opportunity to verify or update their voter registration information. Additionally, this process provides for the removal of voters that fail to respond to the mailer for that four year election cycle and do not participate in any election during that same four year period.
The process begins with non-forwardable postcards being mailed to every registered voter in Alabama. The post card asks the recipient to review their registration information and if the information is accurate they are asked to retain the card. If the information is incorrect or needs to be updated or if the voter on the card no longer lives at that residence the voter is asked to mark return to sender on the card and place it back in the mail. When the voter places the card back in the mail each postcard is delivered to the local county board of registrars office. At that time, it is scanned into the system and recorded that the card was returned.
A second post card follows the first mailing but is only sent to the registered voters for which the first postcard was returned to sender. This postcard is allowed to be forwarded to voters that may have a forwarding address on file with the post office. These post cards inform voters that the initial mailing was marked return to sender and that they should either update their information or contact the registrars office to have their name removed if they are no longer located in the state. Voters are also able to update their information through the Secretary of State's online voter registration platform or the Vote for Alabama app (available for Android and iOS devices). Voters that do not respond to this mailing or that have their postcard returned to sender will be marked as inactive. Inactive voter registration status means that a voter is able to vote as a normal voter on election day but they will also be asked to update their voter registration information when they visit the polls on election day.
Voters that wish to check their registration status can do so in a multitude of ways. To check your status electronically voters can visit (https://myinfo.alabamavotes.gov/VoterView/Home.do). To check via phone voters can call the Secretary of State's Office at 334.242.7210 or their local board of registrars office (http://sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/board-of-registrars-all-counties).
It is important for voters and members of the media to keep in mind the intent of this process, required under federal and state law, is to provide the opportunity for Alabama voters to update their information and help maintain accurate voter rolls that help that state conduct elections effectively and efficiently for all of Alabama's citizens.