Members of the local Democratic Party are upset that an unknown number of ballots in the March primary election may not have been counted because the voters’ mailing addresses did not match their addresses on file at their precincts. One of the party members, Milton Morrow, who has run for political office in the past, has filed a formal complaint with Secretary of State Beth Chapman’s office asking for a cease and desist order against Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis. Davis had flagged 4,000 such voters who moved from one part of Mobile County to another and ordered that their ballots be cast as “provisional ballots,” which, by law, count only if the Board of Registrars can demonstrate that the voter is eligible. Napoleon Bracy, a state representative from Prichard who heads the Mobile County Democratic Executive Committee, said he’s concerned about the practice as municipal elections in most all local cities are on Aug. 28.
A recent opinion from Attorney General Luther Strange’s office noted that a voter cannot be blocked from casting a regular ballot when the address on the voter’s registration conflicts with post office information. The opinion did not state whether Davis acted improperly, but, instead, was designed to guide future actions.
Bracy said any refusal to count ballots would require approval of the U.S. Department of Justice, He said, “We have concerns based on the history of voting in the state of Alabama.” Some voters may have post office boxes in another ZIP code, or keep a separate mailing address because they are in the military, in college or have jobs in other states, Bracy said.