Gov. Kay Ivey released a campaign video in which she claimed that certain groups in the U.S stole the election from former president Donald Trump.

In the video, she praises Alabama’s election integrity.

“The fake news, big tech, and blue-state liberals stole the election from President Trump," Ivey said. “But here in Alabama, we are making sure that never happens. We have not and will not send absentee ballots to everyone and their brother. We banned corrupt curbside voting, and our results will always be audited.”

There has been a significant amount of discussion in this campaign cycle regarding the 2020 election, in which Joe Biden unseated then-president Donald Trump. 

Lindy Blanchard, who is also running for governor, recently released a campaign advertisement in which she called Ivey “ a tax-hiking, Fauci-loving, Never Trump liberal.

"After the 2020 election, where widespread fraud put Joe Biden in office, Kay Ivey gave up on President Donald Trump and welcomed Joe Biden with open arms," Blanchard said. "When Trump came to town? Ivey couldn't be bothered to stand with him. Kay Ivey doesn't believe President Donald Trump won the election, and she doesn't believe Alabama voters are smart enough to see through her weak leadership on the issue."

In December of 2021, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced it would be giving $100 million to address voter suppression in the Deep South, including Alabama. The SPLC claimed that Alabama’s history of voter suppression was an ongoing struggle in the state. 

"The fight for voting rights has always been a ground fight, one led by organizers in our local communities," SPLC Senior Staff Attorney Caren Short said. "Voter suppression may look different now than it did in the early 20th century, but its purpose and impact is the same: to disenfranchise Black people, young people, those with low incomes and people with disabilities. The Vote Your Voice grantees are continuing the long fight against voter suppression that began in Alabama, working every day to ensure that the voices of all Alabamians are heard."

The NAACP filed suit against the state of Alabama, and its “discriminatory” voter ID laws, claiming the laws disproportionately affected Black citizens. The NAACP claimed that over 100,000 voters in the state did not have the necessary identification to vote in Alabama elections. The federal Eleventh Circuit Court threw out the lawsuit in July of 2021. 

Alabama Secretary of State, John Merril, has stood behind the state’s election system against accusations of voter suppression. 

"If we are doing such a good job at suppressing people from participating in the election process, why do we have record numbers of people registering to vote in this state?" Merrill said. "Ninety-eight percent of eligible African Americans are registered to vote."

For years, Merrill has operated a mobile voter ID registration unit that has visited every county in the state. Through these units, Alabama citizens can receive a free photo voter ID as well as register to vote.

Blanchard is not alone in focusing on the 2020 election in her campaign. Mike Durant, the leading candidate for the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat of Richard Shelby, has also made his opinion known.

“The bottom line is I don't think Joe Biden won the election," Durant said. "And the reason I don't think that ... changing the rules. When you suddenly make voting by mail easier than showing up in person -- I mean, that just begs for fraud.

“…That's why most voters on both sides believe that voter ID is appropriate. You want everyone to be able to vote but they're supposed to be a legal citizen to vote. And if you can't identify who is voting or you know that they are the ones who filled out the ballot, how can you possibly argue that is a valid vote?”

Ivey is currently leading the polls for the upcoming gubernatorial primary race. According to a poll conducted by 1819 News, the governor has a significant lead. Poll results showed 57.7% of the likely Republican primary voters would vote for Ivey. Tim James was second at 16%, followed by Lindy Blanchard at 11.8%. Undecided voters were at 8.8%.

Jeff Poor contributed to this article.

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