of State Jim Bennett announced today that the court order regarding the early
qualifying date, as well as other deadline changes for this year’s election
cycle, was handed down by Judge Myron Thompson.
appreciative of the fact that Judge Thompson agreed with us that the schedule
that will have qualifying of major party candidates ending on February 7th
was the correct thing to do to ensure soldiers overseas have a chance to vote
and have their vote counted,” said Bennett.
order is in response to a remedial order agreed upon by the State of Alabama
and the Department of Justice over a lawsuit filed for late military and
overseas ballots that were sent out in 2010 and 2012. Bennett became
Secretary of State in 2013.
pleased that this part of the process is concluded and that we can move forward
with definite dates for this election cycle,” Bennett said.
said he felt like the Republican and Democratic parties were moving along
quickly with the qualifying process and that many candidates have already
filed. “We believe that the word was sent to the parties in time for them
to prepare for this change. We appreciate their willingness to
accommodate this schedule so we can get ballots out to our military in a timely
and efficient manner,” said Bennett.
A bill to
change Alabama’s law to reflect Bennett’s schedule is now in the hands of the
legislature. The House passed the bill on Thursday. “We are
still very much in need for HB62, sponsored by Representative Ron Johnson, and
SB90, sponsored by Senator Bryan Taylor to be passed. This change is
vitally important as the schedule should be established in state law rather
than a court order,” explained Bennett.
this new early schedule, chances for error are reduced and plenty of time is
provided for our Absentee Election Managers to send out military ballots on
time. It is and always will be a priority for this office that our
soldiers overseas have the opportunity to vote and for those votes to be
counted,” said Bennett.