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Alabama Senate candidate Jay Hovey, left, and incumbent Sen. Tom Whatley, right.


ALGOP grants Hovey’s request for a rehearing

A rehearing will take place by phone on Thursday evening, giving the two sides one more chance to argue their case.

The Alabama Republican Party’s Candidate Committee has granted a motion to reconsider its decision in the District 27 race between Jay Hovey and incumbent Tom Whatley. 

A filing from the committee late Wednesday said it had considered the filings from both sides and will hold a telephone conference at 8:30 Thursday evening. At that time, each side will be given 10 minutes to present its case.

An order granting a rehearing from the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee.

At issue is the Committee’s decision last week to declare Hovey’s one-vote victory a tie. That decision was based solely on a lone vote cast by Patsy Kenney, a Tallapoosa voter who believed she was properly registered in Alabama. Kenney and her husband went to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency in Opelika to get Alabama a driver’s licenses and also register to vote.

While local elections officials determined that Kenney’s provisional ballot shouldn’t have counted because she never completed the registration process, the Committee decided that it should have counted because she made the effort to register and believed she had done so. 

Shortly after publicizing that decision and its rationale, though, ALEA issued its own statement saying it had investigated Kenney’s claims and found that she never received a driver’s license and never signed the paperwork to proceed with voter registration. Secretary of State John Merrill said the vote shouldn’t count, and on Wednesday he said that the official tally in the District 27 race would continue to reflect Hovey with a one-vote victory.

The filing from the ALGOP Committee on Wednesday seemed to indicate that the two sides will be limited to arguing over the ALEA investigation and its ramifications.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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