It looks like Alabama violated federal law with its “inactive” voter scheme.

from Slate Magazine

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Voters who cast ballots in every election should not be told that they have abruptly become “inactive.”


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tagged an exaggeration
But on Tuesday, these voters were compelled to fill out a lengthy, complex form that required them to list, among other things, their county of birth.

The voter only needs to fill out half a page, mostly consisting of information that the average person would have readily available, like address, social security number. People who know the city and state of their birth but not the county can very easily look that up. The rest of the two-page for consists of instructions and fields for election officials to fill out


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tagged an unsourced claim
a multitude of voters—most of them in majority-black counties—struggled to cast their ballots

This article claims most of the affected voters were in majority-black counties, but does not provide any evidence to back this claim.


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tagged a misleading statement
To put it another way: If Alabama is listing voters as inactive because they didn’t respond to one or both postcards—but neither was returned to sender—it is probably breaking federal law.

Marking voters as inactive without returned mail might be a violation of federal law, but that is not consistent with the Alabama inactive voter law as described above (and on the Alabama Secretary of State's website). The process specifically requires two separate postcards (the first non-forwardable one and a second forwardable one sent when the first one is returned) to be returned as undeliverable.


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tagged an unsourced claim
As a result, many precincts, particularly those in heavily black counties, were egregiously unprepared.

This article does not cite any evidence that heavily black counties were affected more than others.


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tagged an exaggeration
But Alabama’s muddled, mystifying system seems designed to trip up voters at every possible turn;

The process outlined requires no action on the voters part if their information is correct. Voters can check and verify their status online, by phone, and by mail. There is no basis for the claim that the system is "muddled, mystifying" or "designed to trip up voters at every turn".