MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — More than a week after the primary, some state House candidates who lost are asking for a remedy after an error left them off some voters ballots.
Jamie Grant lost his bid for House District 29 by a thin margin, and after a redistricting-related error in Etowah County kept him off the ballot for some voters.
“A friend of mine called and he says ‘ Hey man, I went to vote, and you wasn’t even on my ballot.’ So I pulled his address up on the state’s website and sure enough, he lived in 29, but I wasn’t on his ballot,” Grant said.
The same problem surfaced in District 28, which includes Etowah County, where incumbent Rep. Gil Isbell lost his seat to Mack Butler.
“It started from people saying ‘I went in to vote for you, and your name wasn’t on the ballot,” Isbell said.
Alabama GOP Chairman John Wahl said in a statement last week: “We will do the best we possibly can in order to find a solution to this terrible situation we’re facing.”
Grant says he understands this was just a case of human error, but he wants to see him and his competitor Mark Gidley back on the ballot for the June 21 runoff.
“Just throw us back on there. And show the state and show the nation that we are about integrity,” Grant said.
Isbell says he’d like to see the same, and intends to bring his solution before the ALGOP steering committee.
“That goes to the election integrity issue that I’m presenting to the Republican state steering committee to make a determination if we need to have a re-election,” Isbell said.
Whether that happens is in the hands of the state Republican party, which certified election results today. The party chairman wasn’t available for an interview Wednesday afternoon on how the party aims to address the issue.
Secretary of State John Merrill says in his eight years in office, he hasn’t seem something like this. His staff is working with the Etowah County Board of Registrars to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“The main thing that needs to be known is that there was nobody that went to the polls on May 24 that was denied access to the ballot. No individual was denied access to participate in the electoral process,” Merrill said.
Merrill says any request for a recount must be submitted by noon Thursday.