By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, August 28, 2017, Alabama County Commission Association (ACCA) Executive Director Sonny Brasfield spoke with the Alabama Political Reporter (APR) about our story earlier that day on a recent resolution the ACCA Board of Directors passed demanding that Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan retract and/or apologize for an email she sent during the Legislative Session criticizing Brasfield and the ACCA staff.
Brasfield said that they never intended that the resolution or the letter made by ACCA President Bill Strickland were ever intended to be made public.
ACCA Director of Public Affairs Terri Sharpley Reynolds wrote to APR: “On another note, I want to point out that the article incorrectly states the letter from ACCA President Bill Stricklend and the resolution from the ACCA Board of Directors were posted on the ACCA website. Neither document was ever posted to the ACCA website.”
Executive Director Brasfield said, “We did not oppose the bill,” (SB108).
Brasfield said that ACCA does not care about the crossover voting issue; what they were concerned with was, “a poorly worded amendment” that got added to the bill in committee.
Brasfield said that elections are jointly paid for by the state and the counties. Anything that is on the list of reimbursed expenses the State will reimburse the county for. Any expense not on that list the county government has to pay for out of its own budget.
The ACCA’s problem with the amendment was that it allowed the counties to use electronic polling books in order to verify the names of eligible primary runoff voters. Brasfield said that the theory behind the electronic poll books is better than the reality.
In the current Senate special election a voter who participated in the August 15, Democratic Primary is barred under SB108 from voting in the Republican Primary runoff for US Senate on September 26. The same would hold true for a Republican Primary voter who tried to vote in a Democratic runoff of that primary.
Brasfield said that ACCA has no problem with any of that and they have no problem with the electronic poll books that were allowed in the amendment. Their issue is that the electronic polling books are not included on the list of reimbursed expenditures. The counties can use them under the amendment but it would all be at county expense.
Brasfield said that ACCA tried to have the amendment stripped off the bill on the floor of the Alabama House of Representative but lot in a narrow 46 to 47 vote.
Brasfield said of Lathan that, “She was critical of me and my staff.” Brasfield said that the wording in the resolution against Lathan was accurate and ACCA stands by the statements.
Brasfield said that she, “Said I had misled the County Commissioners and the Legislators.” Brasfield maintains that that he did no such thing.
APR asked Brasfield if the crossover voting law, SB108, wold cost the counties money in having to bring the registrars back to adjust the books. Bradfield said, “No” that the registrars are all on salary so their extra duties were already in the budget.
Brasfield said that there are 250 to 300 pieces of Legislation that ACCA actively watches each Legislative Session. We actively protect County Commissions budgets because if we don’t no one else will.
SB108 was sponsored by Senator Tom Whatley, R-Lee County, and carried in the House by State Representative Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs.