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Secretary of State Wes Allen stands firm on ballot harvesting ban: ‘There’s no voter suppression’

Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen said he’s glad the State Senate passed SB1 Tuesday and is looking forward to the House also approving the measure.

The law would ban “ballot harvesting,” which means third parties such as political operatives and campaign workers who collect and submit absentee or mail-in ballots in exchange for payment, would be subject to prosecution.

The bill was brought to the floor by State Sen. Garland Gudger (R-Cullman) and has also been backed by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Allen praised the bill’s progress Thursday on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program.”

“It’s been a good week so far,” Allen said, “and I appreciate the Alabama Senate Republicans and Senator Garland Gudger for getting SB1 out of their chamber and headed toward the Alabama House of Representatives.”

RELATED: Alabama Senate passes bill to outlaw ballot harvesting – ‘easy to vote and hard to cheat’

Allen believes the law will have no problem passing the Alabama House in the coming weeks.

“We feel very confident about the bill and the bill passing and being sent to Governor Ivey,” he continued. “And of course I want to thank her for mentioning ballot harvesting and what we need to do to further secure our elections process and making sure we protect the absentee process because that’s what exactly SB1 does. It protects the absentee process because a lot of people use it. And we’re very proud of the bill we got and looking forward to final passage in the House.”

The Secretary of State also responded to recent criticism the legislation has received from Democrats, including from Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin who called it “voter suppression.”

“Listen, there’s no voter suppression,” Allen argued. “Please point to it. Give us examples. There’s no suppression going on out there. We’re making sure with SB1 that our absentee process is secure and we are protecting it for the people who truly use it.”

Allen also debunked some of the “myths” about the bill he’s hearing from some of the law’s opponents.

“They’re saying we’re trying to keep the disabled from voting. We’re not. They’re saying we’re trying to keep the veterans from voting. We’re not,” he explained. “In matter of fact, we enshrined in this legislation the same language that’s in federal code that protects the disabled individuals.”

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

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