Voting problems, fraud, scandals plague polling places across America: Alabama
ALABAMA – November 13, 2018
In Normal, Alabama, four A&M University students are suing state and local election officials, claiming they were denied the right to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
Jordon Jackson, Kendra Jones, Terry Matthews III, and Simeon Sykes filed the federal lawsuit Nov. 9 in a U.S. District Court against the Madison County Board of Registrars, Board of Registrars Chair Lynda Hairston, and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. According to the lawsuit, the four students registered to vote in mid-October, before the Oct. 22 deadline. Jones registered online; the other three filled out voter registration forms as part of on-campus voter registration drives.
However, on Election Day, the students were told their registrations were not in the system, the lawsuit claims, and they were told they had to cast provisional ballots, WHNT News 19 reported.
East Alabama high school seniors were also denied at polls after registering to vote through a school initiative, WTVM reported. The program called HeadCount had teamed up with the school’s guidance counselor’s office to register around 20 eligible seniors to vote in the 2018 midterm elections.
Jennie Cowling’s son Jeremiah—a Russell County High School senior—decided to sign up and fill out his voter registration form through the program, but there was a surprise when he showed up to vote on Nov. 6.
“They said his name was not on that list and they said that he was not registered to vote," said Cowling.
It’s a similar story for Russell County High School parents Michelle and Carl Hubbard along with their children who signed up for registration through the Head Count program at RCHS in September. Their teens showed up to vote on Nov. 6 and were all denied. Voting officials claim the students weren’t registered to vote.
On October 19, former Bessemer city councilman Chester W. Porter filed a complaint alleging voter fraud against Kimberly Alexander for “misconduct, fraud, and corruption primarily with voter intimidation” related to absentee ballots.
Porter, who had represented District 2 since 2012, battled Kimberly Alexander in the runoff after gaining 48% (495 votes) in the August 28 general election, with Alexander earning 47% (483).
On November 9, Alexander totaled 523 votes to Porter’s 463. Alexander’s total included 229 absentee votes. Porter received 73 absentee votes, (In other races, no candidate received more than 111 absentee votes.)
“Illegal votes were awarded to Kimberly Alexander and, if taken from her, will reduce the number of legal votes given to her to below the number of legal votes” Porter received in the race, the complaint alleges.
Specifically, Porter alleges, in the complaint that absentee ballots for Alexander were cast on behalf of deceased voters, voters were registered at addresses of vacant lots or unoccupied structures, absentee ballots were subjected to “tampering or interfering,” absentee ballots were illegally marked with an “X for signatures on behalf of voters,” citizens were temporarily moved from other districts into “abandoned structures prior to the election,” and other allegations.
“This [legal action] should have happened long ago,” Porter said before the hearing. “People were just afraid to do so.”
“Based on the foregoing facts, Kimberly Alexander should not be considered as the winner of the run-off election and Chester Porter should be named the winner … due to fraud, misconduct and/or illegal votes,” the complaint reads.
In a response filed on November 4, Alexander denied the allegations in Porter’s complaint and “demand[ed] strict proof thereof.”
10th Circuit Judge Eugene R. Verin set the next hearing for December 14 at 10 a.m.