Gov. Kay Ivey has changed the date for the election to fill the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Jeff Sessions. Ivey scheduled the election for this year. Former Gov. Robert Bentley had scheduled it for next year. Under a proclamation Ivey signed today, the primary will be August 15, the runoff, if necessary, will be Sept. 26 and the general election will be Dec. 12. “I promised to steady our ship of state,” Ivey said in a press release today. “This means following the law, which clearly states the people should vote for a replacement U.S. Senator as soon as possible.”
Articles about voting issues in Alabama.
Alabama: Gov. Kay Ivey ‘evaluating’ earlier special election for Senate seat held by Luther Strange | AL.com
Gov. Kay Ivey is considering setting a special election for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat that former Gov. Robert Bentley had delayed until late next year. The vacancy, currently filled by Bentley-appointee Luther Strange, came when the Senate confirmed Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general. As governor, Bentley had sole discretion on when to schedule the special election and he chose to include it in the next general election in November 2018. With Ivey ascending to governor, there has been a new call for the special election to be set sooner. Ivey’s office said Wednesday she is “still evaluating” the idea and has not made a decision yet.
After Alabama passed a law requiring voters to have a photo ID to cast a ballot, a nefarious plan to close driver’s licenses offices in many majority black counties in the state was announced. According to an impeachment investigation into Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, that scheme was hatched by the governor’s mistress, Rebekah Mason, who wanted to roll out the plan in a way that wouldn’t unduly harm her lover’s political allies. When they announced the plan to shut those offices, Alabama officials touted it as a cost savings. How much would it save? $200,000. AL.com reports that $200,000 would be “an extremely small savings in a General Fund that typically has annual shortfalls ranging from $100 million to $200 million.” But if disenfranchisement is the goal, a paltry $200,000 saved is not a deterrent. Actually, if disenfranchisement is the goal, then the amount saved is irrelevant.
Alabama: Governor’s advisor suggested closure of DMV offices in majority black counties, report shows | AL.com
Governor Robert Bentley’s former top advisor and secret paramour Rebekah Mason led a politically-motivated effort in 2015 to close 31 driver’s license offices in mostly black counties, a move that embarrassed the state and was later reversed. The decision also led to a federal investigation and drew civil rights protesters such as Jesse Jackson to the state. Mason’s role was highlighted in a 131-page report released Friday by the investigator leading impeachment efforts against Gov. Bentley, a report largely focused on the relationship between Mason and Bentley. The report and exhibits can be found here. According to that report, which was compiled by lead investigator Jack Sharman, it was Mason who “proposed closing multiple driver’s license offices throughout the State” and asked the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to “put together a plan.”
It turns out Gov. Robert Bentley, or at least his lawyers, will not have to appear in Montgomery Circuit Court Tuesday in connection with a lawsuit filed by Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler. Zeigler filed a lawsuit against the governor, arguing Bentley is violating state law by waiting until next year’s election cycle to hold a special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. After Sessions was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February, Bentley appointed Luther Strange to the vacant seat. Under the current schedule, the seat will be up for a special election in 2018, and then it will be up again in 2020 for a full six-year term. A hearing was set on the lawsuit for Tuesday, but it was continued until April 12.
Gov. Robert Bentley will have to defend his decision to set the special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacated U.S. Senate seat for 2018 in a hearing next month. Bentley’s decision is being challenged in court by Republican State Auditor Jim Zeigler and retired District Attorney Tommy Chapman, a Democrat, who contend the governor set the election so far in the future in order to give sitting Senator and former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange two years of incumbency as payment to halt an investigation. A state House committee investigating Bentley but was told to stop Nov. 3 after Strange said his office was doing “related work.”
Alabama Democrats last week filed their proposals to redraw the state’s House and Senate district maps to address a January court ruling that struck down 12 legislative districts due to improper use of race in their construction. “This is the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus’ proposal,” said Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, the sponsor of the House bill, whose district was one of the 12 ruled unconstitutional. “If they’ve got better ideas, different ideas, let’s start the process of drawing constitutional districts.” The proposed map redraws “a majority” of the House’s 105 districts, Knight said. Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, co-chair of the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment, said Monday the committee might look at drawing more districts.
Alabama: State Auditor files lawsuit seeking election ASAP for Jeff Sessions’ old senate seat | AL.com
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler on Sunday filed a lawsuit seeking an election to replace former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions as soon as possible, rather than in November 2018, the date Gov. Robert Bentley has set. Sessions resigned Feb. 14 when he was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General in the Trump Administration. Bentley appointed former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to take Sessions’ former senate seat. “Rather than being able to vote for a replacement U.S. Senator in a timely manner, they (plaintiffs) must suffer a Bentley appointee to hold the seat for nearly two more years,” according to the lawsuit filed Sunday in the state online court system.
Alabama: NAACP Legal Defense Fund: More than 100,000 Alabama registered voters can’t cast a ballot | AL.com
More than 100,000 registered voters in Alabama can’t vote because they don’t have the photo identification required by the state, an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said Friday. And most of those who don’t have the photo identifications are poor, black or Latino, the lawyer says. A federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s requirement that voters present photo identification before they can cast a ballot was filed in 2015 on behalf of the Alabama NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries. The lawsuit alleges the 2011 photo ID law is racially discriminatory, violating the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A trial has been set for December in the case.
The Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment, tasked with addressing last month’s court order that struck down 12 of Alabama’s state legislative districts, adopted what amounted to the same rules used by legislators to redraw the state’s legislative maps in 2012. The committee approved the rules on a 12 to 4 vote, over objections from some Democrats on the committee who wanted more time to review the rules. “Some of the same mistakes that we tried to tell them in 2012 that the Supreme Court would rule against, it happened,” said Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, a member of the committee. “So here we are again, starting the same way we started.”