Ed Packard, administrator of elections for the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office, on Monday announced his candidacy to become the state’s chief election official.
Packard, a 24-year employee of the secretary of state’s office, is running as a Republican. He was previously elected to the Autauga County Republican executive committee.
The secretary of state’s office performs a variety of services relating to business records, lands and trademarks, adoptions, and overseeing the state’s elections.
In announcing his candidacy, Packard asserted that the legislature should authorize post-election audits to ensure electoral integrity.
“Alabama’s voters expect and are due the ability to vote in elections that are free and fair. Alabamians should not have to be concerned about whether our elections have integrity and credibility,” declared Packard. “We election administrators should faithfully implement the rules by which elections are held. And to ensure that is done, the Alabama Legislature should provide for post-election audits of all elections in the State of Alabama.”
He added, “Alabamians should be assured that their right to vote can be used effectively to choose the men and women who will lead our federal, state, county, and city governments.”
In a release, the Packard campaign suggested that the secretary of state’s office should actively involve itself in working with the legislature to enact policies related to election integrity.
The candidate concluded, “I have worked with the voting public and our county and city election officials for well over 24 years. I have heard their concerns about recent elections. We have a strong election system in Alabama, but there is always room for improvement, especially reasonable improvements that the voting public insists on.”
Packard’s entry into the race marks the third candidate that is vying to replace current and term limited-Secretary of State John Merrill. State Rep. Wes Allen (R-Troy) and conservative activist Chris Horn are also seeking the Republican nomination for the position.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL