The Southern Poverty Law Center is clashing with Secretary of State John Merrill over Alabama voters listed as “inactive.” The civil rights organization is asking the state to restore hundreds of thousands of people to active voter status ahead of a U.S. Senate runoff election in September and the General Election in December. The SPLC says there was widespread confusion in Election Day last Tuesday. The group believes large numbers of people were incorrectly moved to inactive voting status during an update of rolls.
Secretary Merrill says over three hundred thousand were put on inactive voter status in the required update of voting rolls, according to the law. Merrill says these voters were listed as inactive if they failed to respond to two voter registration postcards sent to their homes, of if those cards were returned as undeliverable. Inactive voters, he says, can restore their active status by filling out a form at the polls. The SPLC says that process can dissuade voters from casting their ballots.
U.S. Senator Luther Strange will face former Chief Justice Roy Moore in a runoff vote in September. The winner of that election will face Democrat Doug Jones in December.