Former State Rep. Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) recently discovered that voters in Alabama House District 28 have been given ballots without his name on them.
Butler had previously represented House District 30, which included Rainbow City and parts of rural Etowah and St. Clair Counties. Butler ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2018 and lost the Republican primary to Cherokee County cattleman Andrew Jones. Butler is now running for the Alabama House of Representatives again, however, when the legislature reapportioned and redistricted the legislative seats in a special election last fall, Rainbow City was divided between HD28 and HD30. Butler found that his home had been moved to HD28. Butler qualified to run in HD28, challenging incumbent State Rep. Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden). Craig Lipscomb (R) now represents HD30.
On Tuesday, Butler discovered that while he has been moved to HD28, from HD30, some of his friends and neighbors who were supposed to have moved with him to HD28, were inadvertently still getting ballots showing them living in HD30 – with Butler nowhere to be found on their ballots – even though according to the new district maps they were supposed to be in his new district.
“Always question government,” Butler said in a Facebook post. “Today my sister who recently moved to Rainbow City went to vote absentee and discovered I wasn’t listed on her ballot. When she questioned it, she was told she had the correct ballot. She did not and called me. I called our Sec of State, Probate Judge, Circuit Clerk and Board of Registrars and learned quickly she was incorrectly placed in the wrong district.”
Butler told 1819 News that he was told that this accident was just a rare aberration, but Butler was now armed with an online tool that allowed him to check the House district to which people were assigned.
“I checked my dad, and he was also not in the right district,” Butler told 1819 News. “I then called our school superintendent, and he also was not in the right district.
“With a little more research, we found another and another and another, etc. What it appears is they wrongly followed the highway instead of the new maps and those living on the river side of Rainbow Drive were listed in the wrong district. With what happened very recently with our municipal elections in RBC (Rainbow City) where some who lived outside the city voted in our municipal elections and some who lived in the city were denied, you would think this would have been checked and double-checked. Lawsuits went on for months over that huge mistake.”
Butler said that in defense of the registrars, the feds and also the state legislature intentionally delayed the redistricting process until the last possible moment which may have resulted in more mistakes like this across the state. Butler said that hopefully the thousands of people affected by this mistake will soon be shown in the right district, and that state House District 28 now consists of Attalla, Gallant, Ivalee, Rainbow City except Riddles Bend, and Gadsden except Noccalula Mountain.
Butler told 1819 News that he has been assured that this situation will be corrected and that everyone in Rainbow City will get the correct ballot.
“Special thanks to our Probate Judge, Circuit Clerk, Board of Registrars and our Secretary of State for their immediate action on this,” Butler said. “I received calls and follow-up calls from them on this extremely important problem.”
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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