In early January, Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett announced that both major parties had to qualify their candidates by February 7th. The deadline was much earlier than usual, but the Secretary of State’s office was working to comply with federal laws concerning military and overseas voters. The abrupt change was due to ongoing litigation with the U.S. Department of Justice, who had gotten involved after Alabama previously failed to give military voters overseas enough time to get their ballots in.
“Though we do not have yet an order from the court, we have agreed with the Department of Justice to move our deadlines up considerably to get ballots to the Absentee Election Managers in each county,” Alabama Secretary of State Bennett said at the time. “This will allow ballots enough time to be sent to military and overseas voters well before the federal deadline, which is 45 days before the date of the election.”
Bennet said he had been in constant contact with both major parties leading up to the decision, and both of them agreed it was necessary.
As the Feb. 7th deadline passed, both parties failed to qualify candidates in certain races. That is not unusual because some districts lean so heavily toward one party that it’s difficult for the other party to find a candidate willing to run.
The final list of candidates for both parties was reported by multiple news sources, including the Associated Press, whose list can be found on numerous sites (Washington Times, ABC, etc.). The Alabama News Network posted an identical list of candidates on their site as well.
The candidate lists from numerous media outlets reflected what was shown on the Alabama Democratic Party’s own spreadsheet.
But today, the Party released an updated candidate list with Democrats Burton LeFlore and Avery Vise running in Alabama’s 1st and 6th Congressional Districts respectively. The new spreadsheet included the words “subject to amendment” at the top of the candidate column.
The Alabama Secretary of State does not certify the list of qualified candidates until March 13. An official in the Secretary of State’s office said Wednesday that they essentially have to take each party’s word for it that their candidates qualified ahead of the deadline.
So in spite of the Feb. 7 deadline, will Democrats continue “amending” their list of candidates for the next month?
“President Obama thinks he can change the rules and legislate from the Oval Office and apparently Nancy Worley thinks she can just make up the rules as she goes, too,” said Armistead. “This is not the way America runs its elections.”
Armistead said he plans take the appropriate action once the party is able to research the matter further.
A phone call seeking comment from Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley was not returned.
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