Alabama’s Secretary of State, Wes Allen, made a significant announcement on Tuesday, highlighting the expansion of Geographical Information System (GIS) services to all 67 counties in the state. These services are aimed at improving the accuracy and efficiency of voter districting and election administration.
Secretary Allen, who serves as Alabama’s Chief Election Official, underscored the advantages of employing GIS technology for voter district assignment and precinct management. In comparison to traditional paper mapping and manual drawing methods, GIS offers a higher degree of precision. He emphasized the vital role that local election officials play in ensuring the security and accuracy of elections and expressed pride in the utilization of federal funds to support their efforts.
The financing for the acquisition of these GIS services was sourced from federal funds allocated to the Secretary of State’s office. In a move that will alleviate financial burdens on counties, Allen’s office will cover the fees for the GIS services beginning on October 1, 2023, and continuing through July 31, 2025.
Sixteen of Alabama’s counties have already been utilizing GIS services, and the Secretary of State’s commitment to covering the service fees is poised to aid the rest of the state. The service became available to the remaining 51 counties that were not yet using GIS on August 9, 2023.
Secretary Allen expressed enthusiasm for the extension of GIS services across Alabama, saying, “It’s a win for Alabama that we can extend GIS services for voter districting and election management to new counties in Alabama and ease the financial burden for counties that already have them.”
Wes Allen, the 54th Secretary of State for Alabama, plays a pivotal role in overseeing election-related matters in the state. In accordance with Alabama law, the Secretary of State is tasked with more than 1,000 different duties, further underscoring the importance of the office in maintaining the integrity of elections.
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The expansion of GIS services in Alabama, Allen says, reflects the state’s commitment to enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of its elections, ultimately benefiting its citizens and the democratic process as a whole.