Alabama secretary of state candidates to speak in forum

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said an emergency absentee ballot is for any voter who...
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said an emergency absentee ballot is for any voter who needs emergency treatment from a doctor and COVID-19 patients now qualify.(KSLA)
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 11:59 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabamians will have an opportunity to hear from secretary of state candidates during a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Alabama.

Representatives from the organization say the secretary of state race is one of the most consequential elected positions in the state this year.

“When you talk about any election laws that are passed in the state of Alabama, they’re often written, ghostwritten by the Secretary of State’s office,” said Kathy Jones, president of the League of Women Voters of Alabama.

The forum will be online and include Democratic candidate Pamela Laffitte and Libertarian candidate Matt Shelby.

“I will make sure that I fight voter suppression elections subversion that is at play and at its best right now,” said Laffitte.

“As a Secretary of State, I can have policy goals, too,” said Shelby. “I can discuss those state legislators and try to push this through.”

Both candidates are running to change election laws hopefully and the way elections are run in the state.

Shelby’s party gained full ballot access this election cycle, something he wants to make easier if elected.

“One of those things would be to lower the ballot access requirements for third-party and independent candidates,” said Shelby.

If elected, Laffitte says part of her goals include implementing early voting, election audits, and curbside voting.

“I want to change excuse absentee ballot to no-excuse absentee ballot,” she said. “I want to see those prisoners who are being released from prison.”

Jones says the public is welcome and even encouraged to register to attend here. She hopes candidates highlight ways they will remove barriers to voting in the state.

“The Secretary of State is pivotal in pushing for law changes to laws that would make it easier for people to vote while maintaining voter integrity and election integrity,” said Jones.

The event will start at 6 p.m. and be live-streamed and archived on the organization’s Facebook page. Each candidate will introduce themselves and then answer questions focusing on the Secretary of State position. Attendees will be able to ask questions.

Staff for the Republican Secretary of State candidate Wes Allen, says his October schedule was already booked when LWVAL reached out and offered alternative dates.

According to LWVAL, they sent an invitation to the candidates on August 5th and did not receive alternative dates from Allen’s staff.

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