Anti-Moore super PAC ad draws strong criticism from Secretary of State’s Office

December 5, 2017

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill labeled a new political attack ad against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore as “voter intimidation” based on its spreading of misinformation on voting records.

Merrill’s office was contacted Monday with claims that a political ad paid for by the Super PAC Highway 31 purposefully misled people on whether voters’ personal information would be public knowledge.

“If you don’t vote and Roy Moore—a child predator—wins, could you live with that? Your vote is public record and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore,” the ad read.

The Secretary of State’s Office interpreted the ad said Alabama citizens’ voting records, such as who the person voted for and personal identification information, would be public knowledge.

“When voters cast a ballot the State of Alabama’s voter registration system is updated to document the election that a voter participated in but no record is ever made documenting the candidate for whom the ballot was cast,” The Secretary of State’s Office wrote in response to the ad.

The agency contacted the PAC to make them aware of their perceived misinterpretation of the law. Monday, the PAC replied saying they would not amend nor take out any of the information in the ad.

The Alabama Political Reporter reached out to the PAC about their decision and was given a response late Monday.

“The Secretary of State is distorting the intent of the ad,” a spokesperson for Highway 31 said. “Whether or not someone votes is public knowledge. The ad is not improper. Standing up and voting against Roy Moore on December 12 is critically important to the future of our state and we are going to make sure all Alabamians know that.”

This isn’t the first time that Highway 31 has come under attack. The PAC came under fire when it came to light that donors to the PAC would not be revealed until after the Senate election was over.

The Super PAC has garnered more than $1 million according to filings from the Federal Elections Commission. They have committed this money in favor of Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones, and in opposition to Moore.

The two candidates will face off one week from today to see who will get the seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions’ appointment to attorney general.

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