Great Day! Talladega, St. Clair and Jackson Counties!

Tuesday (1/18/2022) was a great day, filled with visits with great Republicans in Talladega, St. Clair, and Jackson Counties. My message and agenda items are resonating with people and they (the people) have been showing a lot of support for my candidacy.

The day started with my traveling to Talladega County to drop off campaign materials with the county Republican Party and a passionate supporter.

In St. Clair County, my long-time friend and elections administration colleague, Deborah Howard, continues to assist me. I’m very appreciative of her efforts. If you need help with any election-related issues in St. Clair County, she can help you!

Deborah Howard and Me

I provided Deborah campaign materials as well and then met various people at both the Pell City and Ashville courthouses. I thank Ken Crowe, county Revenue Commissioner, and Deborah for showing me around.

I met with members of the Jackson County Republican Party at Cattle Stampede Steakhouse in Scottsboro. I enjoyed talking to them one-on-one and then speaking to the group as a whole, especially when answering their questions about Alabama election law and procedures.

I appreciate that my cousin, Pamela Norton of Ider, joined me at the meeting. (Yes, I’m aware that Ider is in DeKalb County! But she lives near and works in Scottsboro and has shown tremendous support for my campaign!)

Pamela Norton, my cousin and supporter from Ider

At the Jackson County meeting, I was able to spend time and catch up with a couple of the county’s election officials, with whom I’ve worked for years: Bart Buchanan, Circuit Clerk and Absentee Election Manager; and Kathy Thompson, a member of the Board of Registrars. Since I have usually interacted with county election officials over the phone, it’s great when I can see them in-person!

Bart Buchanan and Me
Kathy Thompson and Me

I’m looking forward to upcoming visits in many other of Alabama’s great counties.

Election Integrity

I was asked in a round about way my position on how we Alabamians can ensure our elections have integrity.

My recommendation for ensuring election integrity is that the Legislature should mandate post-election procedural audits so that the public knows that election administrators have conducted their election according to state and federal laws and regulations.

I have long said during my near-25-year career in the Secretary of State’s office that our elections can have integrity only if the election administrators faithfully comply with the laws and regulations that govern our elections.

If members of the public believe that election officials themselves are doing the wrong thing, even if unintentionally, those people will lose faith in elections.

In calling for these procedural audits, I’m in no way alleging that Alabama’s election administrators have performed in any way other than professionally and honorably. My experience over many years with probate judges, absentee election managers (who are predominantly circuit clerks), sheriffs, members of the boards of registrars, and city and town clerks, is that they perform their duties with integrity and are committed to serving their voters well.

However, it is not necessarily enough to speak of professionalism, honor, integrity, and commitment. Some Alabamians seem to have a kinship with Missourians, who, a long time ago, adopted as their state motto “Show Me”!

From what I have seen, the election administrators I have worked with for over 24 years have always stood ready to show their constituents what they do. They take their responsibilities as election officials seriously and perform their duties with pride.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama is one of six states that do not require any kind of post-election audit. Our legislature should remedy that situation.

In 2021, to its credit, the Alabama Legislature did pass legislation to require a pilot program for a post-election audit in the 2022 general election. That pilot will involve three counties. We, including members of the Legislature, can and should learn from this pilot program.

Election administrators are not the only people, though, that can help us have faith and confidence in our elections. All of us, as voters in our Great State of Alabama, have a role in ensuring election integrity.

While we may not all be official poll watchers representing a candidate or a political party, we all see what happens at our polling place. If you see something that raises your eyebrow (especially if it raises both eyebrows!), never hesitate to talk to your probate judge (in county-run elections), your city or town clerk (in municipal elections), or the Secretary of State or Attorney General about it.

Whoever you contact can assess whether what you saw was consistent with election laws and regulations. If what you saw is consistent with election laws and regulations, perhaps they can set your mind at ease. But, if what you saw is not consistent with election laws and regulations, they can advise you of what additional steps, if any, are needed to begin an investigation.

As law enforcement often advises the public, if you see something, say something. And do so promptly, especially on Election Day, so that the situation can be addressed as quickly as possible.