Electoral Oversight – Score: 66 Grade: D Ranking: 27

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Alabama scored a 66 in the Electoral Oversight category of the State Integrity Investigation, ranking it 27th in the country on that measure.

The state scored well on having an agency, the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office, tasked with monitoring the state election process and for having good public access to election data.

However, the Secretary of State’s Office does not have legal authority to formally investigate allegations of fraud or voting irregularities, and it has no authority to impose sanctions against violators. The office does operate a Voter Fraud Unit that solicits complaints from residents, assesses them and forwards any thought to have merit to the Attorney General’s Office, which does have authority to investigate. The office also on occasion has investigated allegations at the request of county officials or sent personnel to be at the polls on election day if concerns had been raised ahead of time.

The Attorney General’s Office has the authority to investigate and/or prosecute various types of offenses involving state elections, but the attorney general cannot unilaterally sanction offenders. County probate judges have the authority to investigate complaints of infractions specific to their jurisdictions. Residents also may file complaints with the Circuit Court in the county where illegal activity is alleged to have occurred.

 

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