Votelaw, Edward Still's blog on law and politics: November 2012 Archives

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November 30, 2012

Write-in candidate wins in Hale County probate judge election

The Tuscaloosa News reports: The controversial battle for the Hale County probate judge position was settled after a successful write-in campaign by challenger Arthur Crawford Sr.

Crawford won the Democratic primary, but was disqualified after rulings that he didn't follow new campaign finance reporting rules. He launched a write-in campaign and defeated three-term incumbent Leland Avery at the polls earlier this month. Crawford was certified as the winner on Nov. 16. His 3,729 votes surpassed Avery's 3,353 and Republican challenger Bob Hoggle's 1,409. ...

In the April Democratic primary runoff, Crawford won 80 more votes than Avery, but Avery challenged the results, stating that the challenger didn't comply with new campaign finance disclosure laws that require weekly reports to be filed during a runoff. -- Read the whole story --> Crawford declared probate judge | TuscaloosaNews.com

November 8, 2012

Hale County Probate Judge race still not decided

The Tuscaloosa News reports: Hale County residents won't know until next week who won the election for probate judge.

Election officials had to repair a broken voting machine before tallying the votes Wednesday. But the 3,650 write-in votes won't be counted and certified until Nov. 16.

The race is now between three-term incumbent Leland Avery, who received 3,350 votes, and write-in candidate Arthur Crawford Sr.

Rebublican Bob Hoggle is out of the race with 1,409 votes. -- Read the whole story --> Hale County probate judge race unresolved | TuscaloosaNews.com

Note: Crawford won the Democratic Primary, but was disqualified for failing to file some campaign-finance reports on time. He launched a write-in campaign.

November 6, 2012

Alabama shows its xenophobia again

The Tuscaloosa News reports: Two European election observers will be in Alabama today and their presence is causing a stir.

Election observers from the Office of Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights have conducted limited election observation missions in the United States since 2002, just as U.S. election observers have been doing in foreign countries.

The United States is a member of the Office of Security and Co-operation in Europe, which had been incorrectly identified as a United Nations affiliate. That initial link to the U.N. caused state officials in Texas and Alabama to warn against election intrusion.

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman's office recently issued a statement that "anyone in any polling place who is approached by or observing anyone from the OSCE" should call her election hot line. -- Read the whole story -->European election observers cause stir in Alabama | TuscaloosaNews.com

Comment: First of all, the O in OSCE stands for Organization.

Five years ago I was an election observer in the Scottish elections. Everyone in my group (organized by FairVote) was given a credential by the national election authority in Britain so that we were allowed to go into polling places, counting facilities, and the like. We were not allowed to campaign, interfere with voters, or interfere with polling officials. Pretty much like the rules for poll watchers in Alabama.

Our group was in Britain (London and then Scotlan) for a week, so we observed a lot more than just voting on election day. We got briefings from election officials, civil servants, and on election night many in our group met candidates and officials of political parties who had turned out for the count.

On election day, I went to two polling places (one in the anteroom of a mosque, the other in a classroom of a Roman Catholic school). In each place, I introduced myself and showed my credentials to the chief polling officer. As voters were leaving the polling site, I introduced myself and asked a few questions about their views on their election system.

It was a great experience for all in the group. I wish Alabama could be as gracious as the English and Scots were to us.

November 1, 2012

Excluded candidate files suit to stop election

The Tuscaloosa News reports: Arthur Crawford, who won the Democratic runoff election for Hale County probate judge in spring only to be declared ineligible this past summer, is still hoping to claim the seat.

Crawford filed a civil suit in Hale County Circuit Court last week asking Judge Tommy Jones to stop the election "until the proper candidates can be placed on the ballot."

The general election is Tuesday, and Crawford's name is not on the ballot.

In the April Democratic runoff, however, Crawford beat incumbent Leland Avery by 80 votes.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price later ruled that Crawford was ineligible and ordered the Alabama Democratic Party Chairman to revoke his certificate of nomination "due to his admitted failure to" timely file campaign finance reports. Crawford did not comply with new campaign finance disclosure laws that require weekly reports to be filed during a runoff. -- Read the whole story --> Lawsuit seeks to halt Hale County election | TuscaloosaNews.com