Alabama Absentee Voting Totals Questioned

This case has it all, a guy named Michael Jackson, a mayor’s race up in the air over absentee ballot totals, and a candidate accused of “helping” people vote:

In Marion, the county seat, the 2004 mayor’s election has still not been settled because of a court challenge over allegations of improper absentee ballots.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said he expects there will be federal and state observers in Perry County for the July 15 primary runoff after a federal observer reported that a candidate hung around a polling place much of the day Tuesday and helped some voters cast ballots.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman has pointed to a number of irregularities in Perry County during Tuesday’s primaries. Chapman said there are 8,361 registered voters in the county, and 4,207 votes cast, which means 50.3 percent of eligible voters would have gone to the polls. That gives Perry County a turnout that nearly triples the rate in counties like Marengo, where about 17.7 percent of voters cast ballots.

Chapman also said there were 1,114 absentee ballots cast in Perry County, compared with seven in Hale county and 14 in Crenshaw County — both of which have larger populations than Perry.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King has seized voting records in Perry County.

NJ Sees Push for Permanent Vote-by Mail Status Absentee Voting

According to the press release, Assemblypersons Conners and Quigley have put forth the ‘VOTE BY MAIL LAW OF 2008’ for New Jersey’s consideration. I guess I’ll have to make some contact in New Jersey this summer.

More Absentee Ballot Problems

At tonights meeting, Board members questioned why the absentee ballots that were used two weeks ago, could not be read electronically — but that was not their only gripe — Freeholder, Joe McDevitt said that the average voter could not even understand how to fill out the ballot.

Mary Alyse Strother, Chairperson of the County Board of Elections, agreed with McDevitt, “….the back of the ballot looked like a phone book.”

More info on absentee ballot problems, here, and here.