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Chairwoman: ALGOP is “building an army”

Brandon Moseley



Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan spoke to the Mid-Alabama Republican Club at their regular monthly meeting in Vestavia Hills on March 9.

MARC President and former state Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, asked the group for a moment of silence to remember the 23 people killed when a Tornado touched down in Lee County earlier that week.

Chairman Lathan said that the Chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna Romney McDaniel, had called to check on the state following the tornado.

Lathan said, “The number one thing I have heard from Republicans as I travel the state is who is running (for Senate against Doug Jones) and what are we going to do?”

“There is a hunger for that seat like I have never seen before,” Lathan said. Doug Jones votes like he is a Senator from Vermont, but he is a Senator from Alabama, “The Trumpiest state in America. I am liking our odds.”

“We are going to have a 67-county plan,” Lathan said. “I don’t care if its Wilcox County and there are only 400 of them we are going to get them to vote. We need this seat not just for Alabama but for America.”

“Right now we are building an army,” Lathan said.

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Lathan said that the 2018 election was enormously successful for Republicans in Alabama. The Alabama GOP won every statewide race, elected Governor Kay Ivey, grew GOP supermajorities in both Houses of the Alabama Legislature, and now control an unprecedented 65 percent of the elected offices in Alabama with a party affiliation.

Lathan said that the Alabama GOP is planning on, “How we can build on that to be even stronger.”

Lathan said that she agreed with state Representative Jim Carns, R-Vestavia, and that Republicans should not form “a circular firing squad” in the aftermath of the gas tax vote by the state legislature.


Lathan denounced, “The ridiculous statements that Doug Jones made about voter suppression.”

Secretary of State John Merrill (R) agreed with Lathan about Jones’s controversial comments.

“He is entitled to his own opinion, but he is not entitled to his own facts,” Sec. Merrill said.

Merrill said that while he has been Secretary of State, the state has registered 1,211,706 voters. Alabama now has a record 3,468,000 registered voters. We have also taken thousands of people off of the rolls, because “they have moved away, passed away, or been put away.”

Merrill said that HR1 in the Congress would make removing someone from the voter rolls against the law. “When someone passes away, they need to be removed.”

Merrill said that he is awaiting additional indictments in Brighton. We will put Brandon Dean in the penitentiary for voter fraud.

Merrill said that his office has already gotten six convictions in this state for voter fraud.

Sec. Merrill said that Alabama’s voter participation broke every record. 2.1 million people voted in the 2016 presidential election. On December 12, 2017 1.3 million voted setting a record for participation in a special election. In November 2018, 1.7 million people voted, breaking every record for a non-presidential general election….“And not one person was denied because they do not have a photo ID.”

There is not another state with those kinds of results, Merrill said. “We have led the nation in voter registration and participation for the last three years. When Doug Jones tells the lies like he is telling now, I am going to bust him in the chops.”

Merrill said that he has explained what the state is doing to encourage voter participation to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and John Lewis.

“We have done a lot and we are going to do a lot more,” Merrill said. “91 percent of all Caucasian, white, or whatever you want to call the majority of the people in this room are registered to vote in Alabama. 94 percent all voters are registered to vote and 96 percent of all Blacks are registered to vote.
Merrill said that the national media does not report that because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

“We are making it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Merrill said.

A member of the audience asked Merrill to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Doug Jones.

“We are going to have some outstanding candidates that will run for that,” Merrill said. “Don’t create a circular firing squad like we have done in the past.”

The Mid-Alabama Republican Club meets on the second Saturday morning of each month.

The 2020 Alabama primaries for U.S. Senate, President of the United States, and other offices are less than a year away.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.



Adia Winfrey reports from campaigns trail

Brandon Moseley



The November 3 general election is in less than two weeks and congressional candidate Adia Winfrey is reporting back from the campaign trail.

“They say a picture says a thousand words, so I wanted to share a few shots from the campaign trail with you!” Winfrey said in an email to supporters. “We still need your support as we get closer to November 3rd. A poll released yesterday showed Senator Doug Jones with a huge lead among early absentee voters! This lets us know that what Democrats are doing is working, and we’ve got to keep the pressure on. Every day is Election Day!”

“We need your help to spread the word and continue reaching out to voters to help Democrats up and down the ticket,” Winfrey continued. “Make sure you tell your family and friends to get to their local courthouse for in-person absentee voting on any weekday between now and October 29th. Many counties are also hosting Saturday voting on October 24th, so look out for that option as well! Check with seniors in your communities and churches to make sure they’re able to get out to vote safely in this important election.”

Winfrey is running in the Third Congressional District. Winfrey is the Democratic nominee. She is challenging incumbent Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks). Rogers is seeking a tenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to NBC News more than 35 million Americans have already voted early and absentee. This is already more early and absentee votes than were cast in the 2016 election.

The Alabama Democratic Party said in a statement, “We’re only two weeks out from Election Day! We are proud of everything we have accomplished so far. From rebuilding of party to successfully pressuring counties into offering Saturday voting, we have already made history this fall!”

“We are going to spend the rest of this week pressuring other counties to offer their voters this same opportunity,” the ADP continued. But we need your help. We’ve reached out to over 3 million Democrats across Alabama. We have prioritized reaching out to voters who traditionally never hear from us. Now, it’s time to put our GOTV plan into action.”

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Adia Winfrey is a psychologist and native of Talladega. Winfrey has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wilberforce University and a doctorate of clinical psychology degree from the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology. She is the founder of the H.Y.P.E. (Healing Young People thru Empowerment) movement.

Election day is November 3.

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Coalition of attorneys general file opposition to Alabama attempt to ban curbside voting

The AGs argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

Eddie Burkhalter




A coalition of 17 state attorneys general have filed an opposition to Alabama’s attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to ban curbside voting. 

In a friend-of-the-court brief, led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, the attorneys general argue to that curbside voting is safer for those at greatest risk from COVID-19, and that a ban on the practice would disproportionately impact the elderly, the disabled and Black Alabamians.

They also argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

“The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established by President Trump following the 2016 election, ‘uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud,’” the brief states, adding that there is no evidence that curbside voting in the many states that allow it invites fraud. 

“The practice is longstanding and widespread—as noted, more than half of states have historically offered curbside voting in some form,” the brief continues. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Oct. 13 said the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a federal appeals court ruling allowing curbside voting in the Nov. 3 election. 

A panel of federal appeals court judges on Oct. 13 reversed parts of U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon’s Sept. 30 ordered ruling regarding absentee voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections, but the judges let the previous ruling allowing curbside voting to stand. 

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The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, was brought on behalf of several Alabamians with underlying medical conditions. 

“Curbside voting is a longstanding, secure voting option that local jurisdictions have made available to protect the health of vulnerable voters, including elderly, disabled, and voters with underlying health issues,” Racine said in a statement. “Curbside voting minimizes the risk to persons who are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, and local jurisdictions should be able to offer this common-sense accommodation to voters. State Attorneys General will keep fighting to ensure that voters can safely make their voices heard at the ballot box this November.”

The brief filed by the coalition of state attorneys general comes as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Alabama has been ticking upward.


Racine is joined in the brief by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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Tuberville, Sessions campaign together

The two former Republican primary opponents participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Brandon Moseley



Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

The Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate campaign released a social media video Thursday featuring Tuberville alongside former U.S. Sen. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The two former Republican primary opponents had participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Tuberville and Sessions on Wednesday met with representatives of Huntsville’s defense and technology sectors, participated in an event sponsored by the Republican Women of Huntsville and headlined multiple campaign fundraising events.

Sessions said, “Tommy, I support you 100 percent. Alabama must send you to represent us in the Senate. We cannot allow a Chuck Schumer acolyte – Doug Jones – to represent Alabama in the Senate.”

“You see it on his vote on the judges and Kavanaugh and the way he’s behaved about the new nominee, so I think … it would be shocking that Alabama would reelect a Doug Jones,” Sessions continued. “I know you’re going to win. I feel really good about it, and I’m glad that you’re traveling the state hard and that you’re here in this important community.”

The night after Tuberville won the Republican primary runoff election, Sessions committed to doing his part to help defeat Jones and reclaim the Senate seat for the ALGOP.

“After we won the runoff, Jeff Sessions called and told me, ‘Coach, I’m all in,’ and today’s joint events certainly demonstrate that he is a man of his word,” Tuberville said following the video shoot. “Jeff Sessions understands that it’s time we once again had a U.S. senator whose votes reflect our conservative Alabama values, not the ultra-liberal Hollywood and New York values of Doug Jones’s high-dollar, out-of-state campaign donors.”

Tuberville faces a determined Jones, who is flooding the airwaves with ads. Democrats are desperate to hold on to Jones’ seat, believing that his seat could tip control of the Senate to the Democrats.

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Democrats hope to hold onto their control the U.S. House of Representatives and a recent poll by Rasmussen shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a five point lead over incumbent Donald Trump.

Sessions left the U.S. Senate to accept an appointment as Trump’s first attorney general.

Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore to win the seat in the special election.


Sessions was fired by Trump in 2018 and announced his candidacy for Senate the day before qualifying ended. Tuberville had already spent ten months on the campaign trail at that point.

Tuberville defeated Sessions, Moore, Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Rep. Arnold Mooney and businessman Stanley Adair in the crowded Republican primary. Tuberville is a former Auburn University head football coach. He also coached Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Ole Miss. Tuberville won a national championship as the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. Tuberville lives in Auburn.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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Report: Alabama is fourth-least politically engaged state in 2020

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

Micah Danney




Alabama was ranked fourth from last in political engagement in the country in 2020 in an analysis done by the personal finance website WalletHub.

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, but that only accounts for 61.4 percent of citizens who are old enough to vote. The U.S. ranks 26 in voter turnout among the world’s 35 developed nations. 

“That’s no surprise, considering most states don’t emphasize civic education in their schools,” the report points out. “Large proportions of the public fail even simple knowledge tests such as knowing whether one’s state requires identification in order to vote.”

One of the study’s metrics where Alabama scored lowest was the percentage of the electorate that voted in the 2016 election, which was 57.4 percent. That number is low, said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst, and is 4.5 percent lower than it was in the 2012 presidential election.

She said that other factors responsible for the state’s low rank were its preparedness for voting in a pandemic and the low percentage of residents who participate in local groups or organizations.

The report’s assessment of the state’s preparedness for voting in a pandemic included voting accessibility metrics.

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“Alabama actually received a negative score here because of the unnecessary obstacles created for voter access, such as: voters need a notary or two witnesses to complete an absentee ballot, voters are required to provide a copy of a photo ID for the mail application and/or ballot, and mail ballots are due before close of polling,” Gonzalez said in an email.

She said that states ranked at the top of the list, like first-place Maine, have higher engagement due to measures taken by state legislatures. 

“Making it easy for people to vote increases engagement,” Gonzalez said. “This can be done through things like automatic voter registration, early voting, or voting by mail. The existence of local civic organizations involved in voter mobilization also plays a part in this.”


A federal judge ordered Alabama on Sept. 30 to do away with its witnesses or notary requirement for mail-in ballots, and to allow curbside voting for the Nov. 3 election. An appeals court reversed the former ruling on Tuesday, a decision which Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill applauded. It upheld the latter decision, about which Merrill said, “we intend to appeal to the Supreme Court to see that this fraudulent practice is banned in Alabama, as it is not currently allowed by state law.”

Metrics where Alabama ranked below average, with a score of one being best and 25 being average, were as follows:

  • 26th in percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election
  • 35th in voter accessibility policies
  • 37th in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2018 midterm elections
  • 38th in total political contributions per adult population
  • 42nd in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2016 presidential election
  • 45th is the change in the percentage of the electorate who actually voted in the 2016 elections versus the 2012 elections

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