The results from the November 8 general election have been certified by the State Canvassing Board, despite a complaint filed in Jefferson County challenging election results and voting machine integrity.
Secretary of State John Merrill, who serves on the Board along with Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall, said the team worked to complete the certification process on November 28. The results for federal, state, and judicial offices and constitutional amendments were all certified.
"I am once again grateful to the voters, poll workers, and local election officials in all 67 of Alabama's counties who participated in this election cycle to ensure Alabama's safe, secure, and transparent election," stated Merrill in a press release.
The complaint that was filed was against Jefferson County Probate Judge James Naftel II and the members of the State Canvassing Board. The complaint, by attorney William McGowen, requested a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in connection with the results from the November 8 general election in Jefferson County. McGowen stated in the filing that he wanted the certification by the State Canvassing Board to be halted because of "statutory violations" by the Jefferson County Canvassing Board and election officials.
The defendants entered a motion to dismiss, stating the court does not have jurisdiction over the issue.
"Plaintiffs appear to allege that canvassing occurred too soon in Jefferson County, that some precincts kept insufficient records, and that the use of electronic machines to count ballots violates Plaintiffs' right to vote," the motion states. "While it is not always clear what Plaintiffs seek or why, it is clear that they are challenging the legality, conduct, or results of the election. But this case is not brought as an election contest— the only way such challenges can legally be brought—and it does not meet the strict statutory requirements of such actions. This Court therefore lacks jurisdiction pursuant to the "jurisdiction stripping statute,' Ala. Code § 17-16-44.”
The defendants also stated that the only way to challenge election results is through an election contest and that no one has brought an election contest.
The judge in the case, Tamara Harris Johnson (D), recused herself because her name was on the November 8 ballot, although she did not have an opponent.
The State Canvassing Board handed over the full 353-page certification report from the general election. The official certification available to the public can be found here.
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