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State Sen. Whatley on crossover voting: ‘Democrats will do anything to steal elections’

The idea that crossover voting occurred in the Senate District 27 GOP primary election to defeat State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) continues to gain traction.

Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey appeared to have unseated Whatley, edging him by a single vote after the provisional vote count concluded.

As reported by 1819 News’ Jeff Poor, rumblings have circulated regarding the possibility that Hovey received a boost on Election Day from Democrats that partook in the GOP primary to oppose Whatley’s bid for a fourth term in the legislature’s upper chamber.

RELATED: ALGOP chair John Wahl calls for closed primary system in Alabama

In drawing comparisons to concerns surrounding the 2020 presidential election, Whatley alleged that Democrats had “organized and mobilized” to dilute Republican votes in the party’s primary election.

“President Trump’s election in 2020 showed us that Democrats will do anything to steal elections from good Republican candidates,” lamented Whatley in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “This year we have seen the same thing in Alabama as Democrats have organized and mobilized to vote in our Republican primaries to oppose conservative Republican candidates.”

The senator detailed his prior legislative efforts to prohibit crossover voting.

“In 2016, I sponsored a Bill to stop Democrats from voting in Republican runoffs that was unfortunately defeated by Democrat special interests,” noted Whatley. “This defeat unfortunately just inspired them to attack our primary elections instead. My record on this is clear and In the next session I will introduce legislation to require party registration for primary elections. We need to ensure that Republican primaries are for Republicans ONLY. Closing our primary is key to securing our election integrity.”

“I want to commend our Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, John Wahl for supporting this next step. This year we have seen first hand what can happen when Democrats interfere in our Republican primaries and it’s time to take action,” concluded the senator.

Earlier this week, Whatley announced that he would forgo his prior effort to pursue a recount and will instead support a challenge brought forth by his constituents.

Whatley dropped his bid for a recount after Hovey’s legal team outlined their objections to the senator’s request.

In a statement provided to Yellowhammer News, Hovey reiterated his counsel’s grievances regarding Whatley’s recount push.

“I certainly respect the right for anyone that comes up short in an election to request a recount,” Hovey said in the statement. “But in doing so, I simply expect the request to meet the requirements laid out by the party. As long as the deadline for making an official request is met and assurance is provided to fund the recount if unsuccessful, I fully support the notion.”

“I didn’t fight a recount, I simply asked for documentation that the timeline for the request and requirements for assurance were met,” he explained. “All of which were known long before my certification as the Republican nominee was official. All parties involved were well aware of what was necessary for the recount to be legitimate.”

Hovey asserted that Whatley’s recount effort “wouldn’t have been appropriate” given the specifics of the request.

“The fact that only one box out of the entire senate district was subject to a recount seemed a little odd,” he continued. “I did request clarification that a recount of a single box was appropriate rather than the entire county. It was my desire that if a recount was to happen, only ballots that were counted on election day be counted in a recount – that’s why it’s called a recount. It wouldn’t have been appropriate in a recount to count votes that were not counted on Election Day. They only asked for one box. That hardly serves as any double check on the first count in my opinion.”

Hovey concluded, “I am honored and excited to be the Republican nominee for Alabama Senate District 27 and look forward to a quick resolution to the challenge brought forth by Senator Whatley’s father.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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