Morgan Co. veteran claims he was denied chance at polls - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Morgan Co. veteran claims he was denied chance at polls

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A Lacey's Spring couple said a poll worker admitted the voting machine clock was incorrect, but still denied them a vote. (Source: WAFF file) A Lacey's Spring couple said a poll worker admitted the voting machine clock was incorrect, but still denied them a vote. (Source: WAFF file)
LACEY'S SPRING, AL (WAFF) -

Voter turnout ended up better than state officials predicted for Tuesday's runoff election. However, the good news still isn't sitting well with a Morgan County man who says he was denied the chance to cast a ballot.

Chris Potter said he and his wife showed up at his precinct ten minutes before they were set to close, but still got turned away.

The Potters claim they showed up at their precinct, Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lacey's Spring, right at 6:50 p.m. Polls were set to close at 7:00 p.m.

They said they were shocked after a poll worker told them they couldn't vote because the machine said it was 7:01 p.m. The couple claims the poll worker admitted to the time discrepancy but still denied them anyway.

They said they even asked for a paper ballot if the machine was off and was still told he couldn't vote.

As an Army veteran, Chris Potter said this denial cuts a bit deep, because he fought for 12 years to have the right to vote.

"I guess that's one of the things that made me the most angry," Potter said. "I volunteer to serve our country, to guarantee the right to others to vote, and I couldn't vote because their machine was off," said Potter.

We took his complaint to the man overseeing elections in Morgan County, Probate Judge Greg Cain.

"Speaking to the inspector, her decision was based on that, I don't believe there was any intent at all to disenfranchise anyone," Judge Cain said. "I think she was making a good-faith effort to follow what she believed as state law. 

"She indicated that a voter had shown up after 7:00 p.m., and she would not allow the voter to vote pursuant to Alabama law," he continued. "According to Ala.Code 1975 § 17-9-6, every polling place shall open for voting at 7:00 a.m. and shall close at 7:00 p.m. According to the inspector it was after 7:00 p.m. and she made the decision to not allow the voter to vote to stay in compliance with state law."

"That's crazy, but what can you expect from someone who is going to deny you the right to vote?" Potter replied. "They are not going to have any integrity to be honest about what they have done."

The Potters' complaint was the only one received in Morgan County by the Board of Registrars.

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