Victory! Court Rules Alabama Must Hand Over Voter Purge Records

A map of the state of Alabama with the name circled in red marker

In a victory for transparency, a U.S. District Court in Alabama ruled in favor of CLC’s client, Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM), in a lawsuit compelling the state of Alabama to turn over records related to purged voter lists and people denied the right to vote because of felony convictions.

GBM engages in voter outreach efforts for its community members, including ensuring Alabamians maintain their active registration and helping eligible Alabamians with prior felony convictions apply for rights restoration and register to vote.

Access to up-to-date public registration records, which Alabama is required to make public under the National Voter Registration Act, is critical to conducting this work. The judge's opinion rules in favor of GBM on all counts and directs Secretary Merrill to send GBM all the requested records. GBM has now received these records and can use them to engage in their critical voter engagement work in the run up to the 2022 general election.

Greater Birmingham Ministries strengthens our democracy by bringing more Alabamians into the democratic process. This work is impossible to do when the Secretary of State stonewalls access to voter purge records that they are required to disclose under the law. 

Our democracy works best when every voter can make their voice heard. This ruling is a win for transparency and will help Greater Birmingham Ministries to bring more Alabamians into the democratic process. 

Mannal is a Senior Communications Manager for Voting Rights and Redistricting issues at CLC.