BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The deadline to register to vote in Alabama just passed, but if you’ve recently moved here from another state, you may want to check and make sure you’re not still registered to vote there.
We found one local voter who’s lived in Birmingham since 2002, but discovered he could still get an absentee ballot in New York.
It started with a text message, asking Todd Morgan to vote for a candidate in New York state. The problem? Todd’s lived in Birmingham since 2002 and registered to vote here years ago. So he went to the New York state absentee ballot website and put in his name and old address and at first found nothing. But on a hunch he typed in his name and his parents old address, and it showed him eligible to get an absentee ballot at a place he’s never lived.
“I found that particularly scary, and I wondered to what extent this applies to other people,” Morgan says. “The fact that my vote exists in another state where, quite frankly, I have no business voting, that vote is just dangling out there for someone to potentially go out there and steal very easily, seemingly.”
We asked Secretary of State John Merrill’s office who’s responsible for alerting your old home county and state when you register to vote somewhere new. His spokesperson said, “Voters are encouraged to inform their previous county registrar’s office of their move. However, registrars in Alabama will contact the voter’s previous jurisdiction to inform them.” And that’s done at the county level.
Todd took it upon himself to call his old home county now 18 years later to tell them to take him off their rolls, something he says you may need to do as well.
“My advice would be to regard your right to vote just as highly as you do any other personal data,” Morgan advises. “Whether it be credit card number, whether it be your Social Security Number. Think about it from the standpoint of where do you presently live and where did you live before? And spend a few minutes to see if you are you still registered in a previous county or state. It’s very important that we look at that as a value, and see if there’s any potential for that valuable item to be exploited.”
You can click here to check the status of your voter registration or change or cancel it in another state.