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Secretary of State candidate Wes Allen: ‘I do not believe in election month — I believe in Election Day’

In 2020, Alabama had a record number of people vote by absentee ballot because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some Democrats say that record was a reason early voting access should be expanded in the Yellowhammer State.

Currently in Alabama, a voter must have an valid excuse and apply for an absentee ballot in order to vote early.

During a Thursday interview on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” Secretary of State candidate State Rep. Wes Allen (R-Troy) outlined why he was against expanding early voting options in Alabama.

“We need to keep our absentee laws that we have right now,” he said. “We’ve got a good system that works, but I do not believe in election month. I believe in Election Day.”

The former probate judge explained the issues with implementing early voting proposals pushed by his Democratic colleagues in the State House.

“Who is going to secure the precinct at night, and how many keys are floating around?” he asked. “Who’s got the keys? Who’s protecting the machines? Who’s protecting the ballots? And so I believe in Election Day. I don’t believe in an election month or in voting two weeks out. So we cannot allow that in the state of Alabama.”

Allen talked about his experience in the legislature on the issue.

“I led the fight back last year and last session to defeat no-excuse absentee voting, Yaffee,” he said, “and that would have been a bill that would’ve of opened the door down the road to further loosen our election laws.”

The candidate said Alabama didn’t need to follow the examples of certain other states in the 2020 election.

“[W]e saw around the country in 2020,” he continued, “chaos and confusion in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona and those other states that just disregarded lawfully passed bills by their duly elected representatives.”

Allen emphasized that he was the candidate with the most experience to be the next Alabama Secretary of State.

“I’m the only candidate in this race that has been a chief elections official,” he argued, “and so I got to see it up close and personal. I did everything from appointing poll workers, training poll workers, proofing the ballots, printing the ballots, driving around on election day to all the precincts and making sure those poll workers had what they needed to successfully administer the elections on election day, and then of course when the results come in at night I’ve been there and done it, and everything in between.”

Allen is one of four candidates in the Republican primary for the position. The other candidates are Chris Horn, Jim Zeigler and Ed Packard.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” Weekdays 9-11am on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee