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Alabama: Worley responds to possible contempt citation

AP reports: Secretary of State Nancy Worley sought to fend off a possible contempt of court citation by telling a federal judge Thursday that she has “willingly cooperated” with Gov. Bob Riley’s efforts to develop an overdue statewide voter registration system.

In a one-page letter to U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins, Worley said she disagreed with a report filed with the court last week by the governor’s legal adviser, Ken Wallis. That report said Worley had not fully cooperated and had refused to work with a committee appointed by the governor to help develop the system, saying she would only deal with Riley.

She said she has worked with the governor and Wallis and has searched “bookcases, file drawers” and other areas looking for documents on development of a voter registration system.

Watkins had ordered Worley, a former Decatur High School teacher, to respond to him by Thursday on why she should not be found in contempt of court for violating his previous order that she help the governor. Watkins in August gave the Republican governor the title “special master” and put him in charge of developing the database, which is required by the federal Help America Vote Act. The judge’s decision came after Worley, a Democrat, was sued by the Justice Department for failing to meet a Jan. 1, 2006, federal deadline for implementing the computerized file. -- Worley tells judge she's cooperating on registration plan

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