Monday, the Alabama Democratic Party joins Secretary of State John Merrill (R) in exploring a brief postponement of the March 31 primary runoff election.
“It is a prudent course of action in this one specific circumstance,” the Alabama Democratic Party wrote in a statement. “Protecting the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and election officials should not be a partisan issue—nor should common sense, fundamental election reforms that make voting easier and our electoral system more modern and resilient.”
The major concern is spreading the COVID-19 virus. It is especially difficult as many of the poll workers who work elections and the Board of Registrars who conduct elections tend to be elderly and are the demographic that is enormously susceptible to death from COVID-19.
Sec. Merrill has asked Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) for an Attorney General’s opinion allowing the postponement of the runoff election.
The Democrats also presented “reforms” they would like to see in future elections.
“We ask John Merrill, the Alabama Republican Party, and Republican elected officials to join us in putting partisanship aside to accomplish the following goals before November 2020 and for every election moving forward,” the ADP wrote in a statement.
The Democrats favor passing legislation to make “no excuse” absentee voting the law, rather than a one-time exception. This includes making voting by mail available to all Alabama voters.
They also support, “Legislation allowing for two weeks of in-person early voting in every county.”
Finally, they proposed establishing, “A bipartisan panel to explore other ways to modernize our elections, increase participation, make voting more secure, and make our civic institutions more resilient to disruption, regardless of the cause or crisis.”
“These are not impossible reforms, nor are they rocket science,” the ADP wrote. “Voting should be easy. The vast majority of other states have taken these common-sense steps to ensure the resilience of their civic institutions. It’s past time for Alabama, the cradle of voting rights, to do the same.”
The Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party is State Representative Christopher John England (D-Tuscaloosa).