MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate voted Wednesday to carry over legislation requiring post-election audits.

House Bill 259 (HB259), sponsored by State Rep. Debbie Wood (R-Valley), would require the probate judge of each county to conduct a post-election audit after every county and statewide general election to determine the accuracy of the initially reported election results.

The bill passed the House by an 88-6 margin in April. With only one day left in the legislative session, the bill will die in the Senate since it wasn’t voted on Wednesday.

State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) said on the Senate floor the bill provides “a type of review so that we can find a means to improve.”

“What this bill does is provide a methodology in which after the election results are completed and turned in, in fact, it’s the second Friday after the election which gives the time for reporting and such to be completed. At that point, the probate judge and the local authorities will bring in all of the data, the containers and things to do an audit to ensure that things were properly handled,” Albritton said. “They’re reviewing their steps of what they’ve already taken. Then they can make a report if there are any discrepancies found, if there’s any difficulties discovered, and also to give recommendations if there are any improvements that could be made.”

The Senate voted to carry over the legislation after opponents spoke out against the bill.

“I don’t see the need for this bill,” State Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham) said. “This is a bill that is looking for a problem. We don’t have a problem.” 

State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) said, “It’s just unnecessary.” 

“We all want free, secure, accurate, honest elections but I don’t think this is going to add any honesty or any security or anything to the elections that we have. I think our probate judges do a good job, our Secretary of State does a good job, and we have secure elections. I don’t know that an audit is going to make any difference,” Stutts said.

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