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Voter Fraud is Alive and Well in Alabama, GOP leadership speaks out

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Uniontown Alabama is one of the most impoverished places in the country. The economy of the agriculturally rich Black Belt town arguably never really recovered from Alabama’s transition from a labor intensive cotton economy. One thing Uniontown does lead in is voter participation. According to the 2010 census 1775 people live in the small town. 635 of those were 17 and under. In theory the maximum number of voting age people in the town is 1140 people, if no one forgot to vote, forgot to register, or were not eligible to vote due to past criminal records.

However 2,587 people are registered to vote in the 91% black town. In many towns the voter roles are inflated due to people dying or moving out of town and not being removed from the voter roles but that is more than twice the number of voting age people in the little town. In Tuesday’s election 1,437 people voted. Inexplicably that is 125% of the voting age population of the town. 45% of those ballots were absentee ballots. In the rest of the state just 3 or 4% of voters vote absentee. When Dan Beyerle with the Tuscaloosa News exposed these facts Wednesday it drew a firestorm from Republicans across Alabama.

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman told the Montgomery Advertiser, “As I have said in the past, no county anywhere in the country votes those percentages to my knowledge and certainly no other county in Alabama does,” Chapman said of the number of absentee votes.

Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said, “Something is fishy in Perry County and it amazes me that Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy refuses to acknowledge the evidence placed before him concerning voter fraud in Alabama. It is completely obvious to anyone who looks at the facts with an open mind that voter fraud is alive and well in Alabama.

Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard said, “Either Uniontown’s citizens are the most civic-minded in the entire state or there are some serious shenanigans occurring in the election process there, but even civic-mindedness can’t explain why voter rolls top 130 percent of the population. It is obvious that the voter rolls there are bloated with the names of dead, relocated or even fictitious residents, a fact that does not inspire confidence in honest and fair elections. Only a strong and strictly enforced photo voter ID requirement can return faith to what is obviously a flawed, broken and likely corrupt elections system.”

Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner said, “I seriously doubt that this is an isolated mistake, but rather serves as a glowing example to any naysayers that voter fraud is real. For months Democrats and various members of the media have crowed about voter ID laws being cruel and unnecessary because voter fraud is a figment of the imagination. This Uniontown case should end that debate, once and for all.”

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said the election results underscore the necessity of fighting potential voter fraud. “These numbers are a suspicious reminder of why we have to stay on guard to protect the sanctity of our election process and fight potential voter fraud. We have an obligation to protect the democratic process we hold so dear and will continue working to identify ways to fight against abuse.”

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Speaker Hubbard said, “The Obama Justice Department has already blocked photo voter ID requirements in states like Texas and South Carolina, and it is likely it will continue its hostile actions towards Alabama, as well. By working diligently against this needed and valuable honest elections tool, Obama’s liberal cronies and extremist groups like the ACLU are turning a blind eye to ballot box stuffing and making the case that the only way their side can win is through cheating.”

Chairman Armistead said, “African American voters are being disenfranchised by the criminal activities such as what’s happening in Uniontown. As former Alabama Democratic Congressman Artur Davis told the Montgomery Advertiser earlier this year, ‘The truth is that the most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African American community, at least in Alabama, is the wholesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt.’

Speaker Hubbard said, “To steal someone’s vote by casting a fraudulent one against it is literally taking away their birthright as an American,” Hubbard said. “As long as everyone plays by the same rules and is required to present the same ID, everyone can rest easy that their rights are being protected.”

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National

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed asks public to stay home for “next few nights” amid protests

Eddie Burkhalter

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Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed at a Monday afternoon press conference asked the public to stay at home for the next few nights, if they can. 

Reed’s words came after peaceful protests in Birmingham turned into a riot early Monday morning. Numerous businesses were burned, and two reporters were attacked. Protests were likely to begin Monday evening, according to accounts on social media. 

“I want you to know that I share your outrage over the killing of George Floyd. I share your anger about the callus action that ended his life,” Reed said. 

But Reed said “we must not further inflict damage upon ourselves and our community in a short-sighted effort to express our understandable frustration and anger.” 

Reed asked that those who can do so “stay at home for the next few nights.” 

“Talk with your family. Talk with your friends. Talk with others about what we can do together for the betterment of each other,” Reed said. 

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin earlier on Monday declared a state of emergency and a city-wide curfew that begins today. 

Moments before Reed spoke, President Donald Trump gave a speech at the White House and said he is an ally of all peaceful protestors and “your president of law and order.” 

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“But in recent days our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, antifa and others,” Trump said. 

Trump said he was mobilizing the U.S. military to stop the rioting, and that he strongly recommended to governors that they “deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.” 

If governors don’t get rioting under control, Trump said “I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.” 

Gov. Kay Ivey earlier on Monday announced that she authorized the Alabama National Guard to activate as many as 1,000 guardsmen, but said there was no immediate need to deploy them. Woodfin said in a separate press conference Monday that there was no immediate need for assistance from the Alabama National Guard.

Just as Trump began speaking at the White House, police fired tear gas and advanced on a group of peaceful protestors at Lafeyette Park near the White House, according to video coverage by several news outlets. 

After his speech, Trump left the White House on foot and traveled under heavy security to Lafeyette Park, where he held up a Bible outside St. John’s Church alongside White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany while photographers clicked away.

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Health

Gov. Kay Ivey addresses death of former Auburn coach Pat Dye

Eddie Burkhalter

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via Madison Ogletree / The Auburn Plainsman

Gov. Kay Ivey in a statement Monday expressed sadness over the death of former Auburn head football coach Pat Dye, who died Monday after being hospitalized for kidney problems. He had also been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Dye, 80, was being treated for kidney problems when he tested positive for COVID-19, although he was asymptomatic, his family said at the time. 

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Coach Pat Dye — a great man, coach and member of the Auburn family,” Ivey said. “Not only was he a phenomenal football coach, but an even better person. For years, I have known Pat personally and have always valued his friendship and colorful commentary. He had great takes on both football and life. Coach Dye truly embodied the Auburn spirit. He will be missed not only by the Auburn family, but the entire state of Alabama. War Eagle, Coach. Your life and legacy lives on.”

Ivey graduated from Auburn University, where Dye served as head football coach from 1981 to 1992. He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

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Crime

Alabama Democratic Party chair: “Where systemic racism endures there are no winners”

Eddie Burkhalter

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The Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party on Monday called for Alabamians to come together to address systemic racism and inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. 

“I am angry and I am hurt. Unfortunately, I am not shocked,” said state Representative and  Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party Chris England, in a statement. 

“Inequality pervades every facet of our society. Confronting this truth is difficult, especially for those who have never experienced their race as an issue. For Black people, watching George Floyd be killed on camera felt not only horrifying, but familiar. It felt familiar because we know what it is like to be harassed by an officer or made to feel unwelcome in a certain part of town. We know what it is like for our schools, neighborhoods, and economic concerns to be ignored outright,” England continued. 

“I stand with each person who is fighting for the just and fair treatment of every Alabamian. Until ideologies rooted in racism and hate are confronted head-on, communities of color will suffer. Until we expose the lies keeping us divided, communities who do not experience their race as an issue will continue misdirecting their frustrations, and scapegoat communities of color. Where systemic racism endures there are no winners, only losers. 

“Unity demands justice. I call on every Alabamian, especially people of faith, to be on the frontlines of love and compassion. We have not come this far to only come this far.”

Two days of peaceful protests in Birmingham turned violent early Sunday morning, and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin declared a state of emergency and enacted  a city-wide curfew to prevent a repeat of the rioting that saw numerous business burned and at least two reporters attacked.

Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday announced the authorization of Alabama National Guard members, but said it was no immediate need to activate them.

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News

Quinton Ross: What should we tell our youth on the death of George Floyd?

Quinton Ross

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The following is Alabama State University President Quinton T. Ross Jr.’s statement in full on the death of George Floyd. 

For the past few days, I, like many others have been viewing through the lens of the media, the reaction of our country to the deplorable and senseless death of yet another defenseless black person at the hands of a white police officer, a tragic mockery to the truth that Black Lives Matter. Similar to other Americans, I am overcome with a range of emotions.

As the father of two sons and as a black man myself, I can assure you that I am furious and deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd, as I am by every senseless killing of black males and females in America. It could have been either of my sons, my brothers, my nephews or nieces, my friends or even one of my students who lay on the ground, pleading for mercy on that horrific day.

Looking into the eyes of my 11-year-old son and trying to help him comprehend what happened and what is happening in our nation, I am cognizant of the fact that I am old enough only to have read about the many civil rights protests and nonviolent demonstrations that have afforded me the opportunities that I have enjoyed during my lifetime.

While I was not an eyewitness to the protests, I do try to paint a picture for my son, drawing from my exposure to many civil rights icons and their recounting of historic events of the past, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the march from Selma to Montgomery, the brutality of law enforcement officers such as Bull Connor and the story of Ruby Bridges. I am emotionally distraught about the stark parallel of our nation’s present state of affairs and our nation’s historical past.

I have been giving thought to this national crisis, especially as it relates to Alabama State University’s rich history and her overwhelming contributions to the advancement of civil rights in the nation.  I am one of thousands of students who have matriculated and emerged from ASU with purpose and a true understanding of social justice and responsibility. At ASU, we learned the importance and the power of the vote.  The call to public service and advocacy was ingrained in our DNA by O’ Mother Dear.

While I attempt to give some sensible explanation to the most recent senseless acts of brutality, I have reflected on my first real encounter with the reality of racist police violence against blacks in America.  It was the spring of 1991, just prior to my senior year in college, and I had just been elected President of the Student Government Association.

This was the time that our nation witnessed Rodney King being brutally beaten by Los Angeles law enforcement officers after he led them on a high-speed chase.  I remember asking myself, “Is this what would happen to me as a black man if I found myself in a similar situation with authorities?”  I vividly recall how the nation erupted into protests because of Rodney King’s mistreatment, just like the protests that have erupted nationally because of the senseless death of George Floyd and others.

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Each incident is similar to the protests that happened across this nation in the 1960s due to social injustice.  As a young student, I was confused and enraged by what I witnessed. I remember the rumbling of unrest within our student body regarding Rodney King. We were all ready to act on our anger and frustration by taking to the streets of Montgomery to let our voices be heard.  Word of our intentions reached our President, the late Dr. C. C. Baker, who later became one of my mentors.

My SGA leadership team and I were summoned to Dr. Baker’s office, and it was there that I learned what social protesting was really all about. It is not about the destruction of property, looting or acting disorderly; it is about banding together peacefully with a common goal, with a purpose and a plan for change.  During the meeting, we discussed our desire to be heard and our passion for change, and emerged with a plan for a peaceful protest on the campus that historically has been a beacon for change—our home, our haven—Alabama State University.

This focusing event allowed me to lead my first press conference. It would be the first time I had ever spoken in front of news cameras. Every news outlet in the city was on campus that day as students gathered with community stakeholders in great numbers. I led the protest with a speech. Students and local elected officials were also able to have their voices heard as the media captured our impassioned sentiments and broadcast the event.  I share this personal experience not only to highlight the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in providing a platform for change, but also to emphasize the need to protest peacefully and with a purpose.

I offer that advice while understanding and even relating to the rage that has been unleashed across the nation by the infection of racism that is more potent than ever in America. Our nation has a new and improved infection of racism when George Floyd can plead for mercy while dying publicly under the force of a racist man’s knee just as his forefathers died publicly hanging from a noose.

There is a new and improved infection of racism when a young man by the name of Michael Brown can hold his hands up in surrender and still be shot to death in broad daylight in Ferguson, Missouri. There is a new and improved infection of racism when a man by the name of Eric Garner in New York City can tell authorities “I can’t breathe” as he is choked to death.

The infection of racism is new and improved when a young man by the name of Trayvon Martin is gunned down in cold blood while walking from the store to his home. Racism is new and improved when Ahmaud Arbery can be gunned down while jogging not far from his home. There is a new and improved infection of racism when Breonna Taylor can be shot and killed by police officers as she lay sleeping in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. Let us not forget the infection of racism that related to the death of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged in a jail cell in Walker County, Texas, after being arrested for a minor traffic stop.

Here in Montgomery, there is a new and improved infection of racism when a man by the name of Greg Gunn, who attended ASU, is chased and killed by a police officer just a few steps from his mother’s front door. Their tragic deaths made headlines, but across this nation and even in this city, we could easily add more names to the rolls of those whose lives have been so tragically cut short with no cell phone cameras to capture their last, painful breaths.

With this in mind, we struggle with the question, “What should we tell our students?” The answer that I offer you is the same that I give to my sons. I ask that you find ways to protest peacefully, including exercising your personal responsibility to register to vote and then go vote, and committing yourself to continuing your education so that you are prepared to emerge as this nation’s next generation of leaders.

I ask that you resist the temptation to channel your anger into destruction; instead, channel your energy into the very thing that disturbs and disrupts those who would oppress you: Education.

Our nonviolent stand proved successful in the past, and I believe it could be the catalyst for real and impactful change today. Let peace be at the core of all of our actions.

While it seems as though remaining calm in the midst of a racist storm is a signal to be disrespected, disregarded and endangered, remember the lives that were lost to get us to this day. Remember the examples of those who were brutally beaten and rose up from that brutality to walk the halls of congress, to become mayors, governors, state legislators and community leaders.

They are the ones upon whose shoulders we stand. Their sacrifices have afforded us the opportunity to stand and take up the mantle of peace, justice and equality for all.

Stay in the fight against injustice my children and my students, with peace, purpose and a plan that saves us from self-destruction and allows us all to “breathe” freely.

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