Add Alabama Republican Party chairman John Wahl to the list of those concerned about allegations of Democrat crossover voting in last month's Republican primary.
Wahl, a guest on Alabama Policy Institute senior fellow Phil Williams' "Rightside Radio" program on Wednesday, called on the Alabama Legislature to consider a law that would create a closed primary system for how the political parties determine their general election nominee.
He cited a six-to-one turnout margin in last month's primary between Republicans and Democrats, which he said suggested a need for closed primaries, given what appeared to be evidence of crossover voting.
"I think it's important, whether it is the Democrat Party or the Republican Party, that we don't have members of the other party electing our nominees," Wahl said. "And that seems common sense, but what I'm seeing is a trend more and more where Democrats are trying to influence who the Republican nominee is, whether it is Democrats running as Republicans or whether it is them voting in our primary. So, I think closing the primaries is one way we can say, 'Hey, you know what? If you're a Republican, we want you to vote. If you're a Democrat, we still want you to vote -- just in your primary, not ours. So, if we have registered parties, it will take care of both sides.
"We want to present good policy, right? It's very important to the Republican Party when we ask for something that we do our research -- we look into it, we know the numbers. But the easiest and fastest number to look at is how many votes were there for Joe Biden versus Donald Trump? And then what is the percentage of Republican and Democrat primary voters. And they are not in lock sync. I think it was almost a six-to-one ratio between Democrat and Republican primary voters. And you know that there's not six-to-one Republicans to Democrats in the state. So I think that's a pretty clear margin -- that we are having a very large crossover from Democrats voting in the Republican primary."
Wahl also commented on the election challenge in Senate District 27 by State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn). Whatley's legal team had hinted the challenge would be based on Democrats voting in the Republican primary contest. However, Wahl said regarding that challenge and others that the ALGOP steering committee would only consider state law, which does not prohibit crossover voting. However, he said the party reserved the right to "challenge a nominee at any time."
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