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Senate passes limited election audit bill

The bill authorizes the secretary of state’s office to audit the 2022 election results of three Alabama counties.

(STOCK PHOTO)

The Alabama Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that would authorize an audit of the election results in three Alabama counties immediately following the 2022 election.

Senate Bill 45 is sponsored by state Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton. The purpose of the limited post-election audit is to determine the accuracy of Alabama elections. Beasley said that the secretary of state’s office received $800,000 to conduct the limited, post-election audit from the federal government prior to the 2020 election.

“It is not going to take any money out of the state general fund, and I don’t think it is going to take any money out of the counties involved,” Beasley explained. “The audit will include a North Alabama county, a Central Alabama county and a South Alabama county. One county has to be of large population and one has to be rural.”

Beasley said that the counties do not have to agree to do it.

Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, questioned the necessity of the bill when it first came up last week on Feb. 23. Due to his concerns, Beasley carried the bill over at the call of the chair. The bill was brought back to the Senate floor on Wednesday, presumably after Singleton’s concerns were successfully addressed and alleviated.

Beasley said that this had been introduced during the last session, but lawmakers did not get to it before COVID-19 interrupted the session, Beasley said: “This was pre-the [2020] presidential race.”

“Thirty-eight other states currently have a post-election audit pilot program,” Beasley said.

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Beasley said that he “would like to suggest to the secretary of state to pick one predominately Democratic county and one predominately Republican county — maybe two Republican counties. This is being paid for with $800,000 of federal money that has come down from the federal government.”

Senate Bill 45 as amended by the Senate passed 30 to 0, and it now goes to the Alabama House of Representatives for their consideration. Thursday was day 12 of the 2021 Legislative Session.

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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