Some Democratic lawmakers want to repeal Alabama’s new crossover voting law, saying it created rather than solved a problem and its threat of felony-level penalties will discourage voter participation. “The right to vote is just so precious,” Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma said. “And we ought not to be doing things to limit it. And we certainly ought not to be doing things to end up trying to put people in jail.” The law was in force for the first time for the Sept. 26 Republican runoff between Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange in the special election for the U.S. Senate. The law prohibits voters who participate in one party’s primary from crossing over and voting in the other party’s runoff. So, voters in the Aug. 15 Democratic primary could not vote in the Republican runoff.
Secretary of State John Merrill’s office compiled a preliminary list of 674 voters believed to have done so. Merrill sent the list to county probate judges to verify. Merrill asked the counties to report back by Nov. 6 and plans to forward the verified list to prosecutors.
It appears the list will change significantly. Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King said most of the county’s 380 voters on the list did not vote in the runoff. Instead, a chief inspector at one precinct mistakenly crossed off the names of Democratic primary voters in advance to make sure they wouldn’t be allowed to vote that day. That made it appear as if they had voted, King said.