Former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) was the most recent Alabama Democrat to win a statewide race (2017). Some consider him the unofficial head of Alabama's Democratic Party, and he often acts as a spokesman for all things Democrat.

If Republicans were plotting to keep Joe Biden's name off the November 5 ballot in Alabama, one would expect Doug Jones to cheer against the plot. He is not. In fact, just the opposite.

On Thursday, Jones took to his Twitter account to emphasize there is no Republican plot to keep Biden off the Alabama ballot. 

All of this brouhaha started when Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen issued a statement that simply clarified some facts about Alabama election law.

He said the legal certification deadline for a candidate to appear on the November 5 Alabama ballot is August 15. The Democratic National Convention does not start until August 19, pointing out that when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are nominated by their convention, it would be after the Alabama ballot deadline.

The Alabama law that sets the deadline for any candidate to be listed on the general election ballot has existed for years. It was passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor. It was not an action by the Secretary of State.

Doug Jones explained the lack of a nefarious plot on Twitter, saying, "I know that there has been a lot of handwringing by Democrats in Alabama about the letter from the Sec of State saying that [Joe Biden] might not be on the ballot in November because the deadline for certification is before the Dem primary. But I really don't believe that this was some nefarious plot by Republicans but instead just a heads up about the law and letting Democrats know that there is a potential problem out there."

"The law is the law folks and I for one appreciate that the letter was sent in plenty of time to remedy the situation," he added. "These two bills will hopefully get bipartisan support since it has happened before to Republican candidates and could happen again. It is in everyone's interest to fix this for this year and the future."

Democrat operatives have taken a beating in the court of public opinion about their efforts to keep Donald Trump off the ballot in certain states. Their undemocratic actions turned out to be unwise and have helped paint the picture (accurately) that anti-Trumpers will do anything under the sun, legal or illegal, to defeat Trump.

Now, Democrats sense a way to lessen the political damage of their failed efforts to keep Trump off the ballot. They can accuse Republicans of trying to keep Biden off the Alabama ballot. They and allies in the media can attempt to turn the tables and say that Republicans are trying to keep Biden off the Alabama ballot.

Bills have been introduced in the Alabama Legislature to remedy the problem legally. Also, the Democratic National Convention could be moved up a few days – no big deal. The DNC could certify Biden as the nominee before August 15, making the national convention a mere formality – which it already is.

Jim' Zig' Zeigler writes about Alabama's people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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