Incumbent Jackson County Board of Education member Mike Matthews is calling for a state investigation after being removed from the 2024 ballot.

Matthews is one of about 18 Republican candidates across the state who the Alabama Ethics Commission has disqualified due to allegedly missing a deadline to file a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) form. Candidates must submit an SEI form to the Alabama Ethics Commission within five days of signing up to run for elected office with their local party.

 "It's a shame", Matthews said on Tuesday. "I really want to keep serving the people of Jackson County. I love this community and the opportunity to help our kids have a better future. I am so upset about being denied the chance to even run for re-election."

According to a press release from Matthews, all candidates are not being treated the same, and Democrat candidates who missed the same deadline are still being allowed to run. A search of the Ethics Commission's website showed over 40 Democrat candidates who have still not filed a required Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) form. 

"It is shocking and extremely disappointing, especially for the State of Alabama," Matthews said. "There is no excuse for candidates of different political parties being treated differently. Why are Republican candidates being targeted and not Democrat candidates? I believe both parties should have to follow the same rules. There are questions that must be answered before tomorrow's deadline to certify candidates. The Ethics Commission needs to give equal treatment under the law, and the Secretary of State, as the chief election officer, needs to take responsibility and make sure this is addressed. The candidates affected by this issue, and the people of Alabama deserve immediate action. I am calling on the Ethics Commission and the Secretary of State to investigate this issue, and make sure all candidates are allowed to run or disqualified equally." 

Matthews told 1819 News last week he qualified to run again on October 16 but was later notified by the Alabama Ethics Commission he wouldn't be on the ballot in 2024 due to allegedly not submitting the SEI form on time. 

Matthews said an ethics commission employee initially told him after qualifying that he'd submitted the form needed to be a certified candidate but then called him back later saying she'd possibly deleted it accidentally. Matthews said he resubmitted the SEI form at her request but was still told a couple of weeks later by the ethics commission through the Jackson County Republican Party Chair that he wouldn't be allowed on the ballot.

The deadline for amending candidate certification is Wednesday.

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