With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.
North Alabama has spoken.
When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence. The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.
Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.
Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.
Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.
Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
Ahead of pres. election, Alabama first to implement electronic voting for deployed military
An instructor approaches a Black Hawk helicopter on Fort Rucker (Photo: Fort Rucker Flickr photostream)
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama is the first state in the country to implement fully electronic voting for service members stationed overseas, a system that will be used for the first time in a Presidential election this year after being previously rolled out in limited use in late 2015.
Alabama National Guard Maj. Chris Theilacker told WSFA he and other Alabamians deployed around the globe are excited about the more streamlined process to vote.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot of trouble, but taking the time out to request that ballot, wait for it to get there, mail may or may not ever get to you when you are in an overseas environment,” Theilacker said. “I go out everyday to make sure our citizens have the right to vote, so by the state and the city providing access to voting no matter where in the world we are, that says a lot about their commitment.”
Alabama Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), a military veteran who was instrumental in passing a bill setting up the new system, told Yellowhammer he hopes it will make life easier for Alabamians who are deployed serving their country.
“As chairman of the House Committee on Military and Veterans, I am proud Alabama is leading the way on this important issue,” he said. “Americans’ voting rights are sacred. Nothing could be more important than ensuring that the men and women who are protecting our freedoms abroad have a voice in our political process. That is what this law does.”
Secretary of State John Merrill concurred.
“Every military serviceman or woman who is interested in voting now has the opportunity to receive their ballot electronically, to vote electronically, and have their ballot returned electronically,” he concluded. “They’ll have their vote cast and counted the same way they would if they were at their home with their family.”
So who will they be voting for?
A recent NBC/Survey Monkey poll shows Republican Donald J. Trump leading Democrat Hillary Clinton by double-digits among active military and veterans. Fifty-five percent say they favor Trump, while 36 percent back Clinton.
The election is set to take place Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Suspicious voting patterns in a local Alabama election serve as a clear reminder of the need to fight potential voter fraud and protect the sanctity of elections.
According to a report Thursday in the Tuscaloosa News, 125 percent of the voting age population cast ballots in a Perry County municipal election held Tuesday in Uniontown. This includes an unusually high 45% of the total votes cast being absentee ballots, compared to a 3-5% statewide average, according to the report. 130% of the town’s population was registered to vote in the election.
“I seriously doubt that this is an isolated mistake, but rather serves as a glowing example to any naysayers that voter fraud is real,” Alabama Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner said. “We have an obligation to protect the democratic process we hold so dear and will continue working to identify ways to fight against abuse,” added Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.
Under current Alabama law, citizens may present one of 19 acceptable forms of identification in order to vote, but many of them, including utility bills, bank statements and pay stubs, do not contain photos and are easily stolen, borrowed or replicated.
The Legislature last year approved a new, stricter standard requiring voters to present a photo ID in order to cast a non-challenged ballot. The law, which is slated to go into effect during the 2014 primary elections, provides free photo ID cards to citizens who do not already possess or cannot afford to purchase one.
“The Obama Justice Department has already blocked photo voter ID requirements in states like Texas and South Carolina, and it is likely it will continue its hostile actions towards Alabama, as well,” Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard said. “By working diligently against this needed and valuable honest elections tool, Obama’s liberal cronies and extremist groups like the ACLU are turning a blind eye to ballot box stuffing and making the case that the only way their side can win is through cheating.”
The Uniontown election provides clear evidence that Alabama’s recently passed photo Voter ID requirement should be approved by the U.S. Justice Department and put in practice for the 2014 statewide campaign cycle.
UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter I remembered a video from earlier this year of Alabama State Representative Jay Love sparring with Al Sharpton over this exact issue…