WASHINGTON — Following a Department of Justice lawsuit and a court-ordered appointment of a special master, a federal court ruled from the bench yesterday that Alabama is now in compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). The judge noted that Alabama had made remarkable progress in the 14 months following the appointment of the special master. The judge’s comments followed testimony that Alabama had become HAVA-compliant in record time.
The Department filed suit against the state of Alabama on May 1, 2006, alleging violations of HAVA. The government’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (Northern Division) in Montgomery, alleged that the state failed to create and implement a statewide computerized voter registration database, which is required by HAVA.
On June 7, 2006, the court granted the Department’s motion for preliminary injunction, finding that the state was in violation of HAVA, and ordered the state to come into compliance with HAVA. Following the secretary of state’s reluctance to commit to the achievement of HAVA compliance within the court’s specified time frame, the court appointed a special master. As a result of the court’s action in response to the Department’s lawsuit, the state of Alabama has finally become HAVA-compliant.
“We are pleased that Alabama has taken the necessary measures to implement the required database,” said Rena Comisac, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The voters of Alabama will benefit from the state’s compliance.”