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Wahl urges closed primaries amid claims Dems swayed Dale County election

Legislation would need to be passed to make that a reality.

ALGOP Chairman John Wahl Facebook/John Wahl
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Back in August 2022, the Alabama Republican Party voted in favor of restricting its primaries to registered Republicans as early as the 2024 election cycle.

Legislation would need to be passed to make that a reality, and so far lawmakers haven’t touched the idea.

But Wahl expressed his concern again last week after at least 100 Democrat voters swapped primaries to make their voices heard in the race between Steve McKinnon and Adam Enfinger for chair of the Dale County Commission.

“The information that has come forward about the Dale County Commission race is very concerning,” Wahl said. “It is extremely inappropriate for Democrats to have an organized effort to affect the results of a Republican primary. To me, the bottom line is that Democrats should vote in the Democrat primary, and Republicans should vote in the Republican primary. And if we have Democrats purposefully coming across and voting in our primary to affect our elections, something needs to be done about it.”

Several of the crossover voters apparently came from people associated with the Ozark-Dale Library Alliance. Enfinger has faced opposition from the group due to his involvement with the Ozark Dale County Public Library book challenges last year.

Enfinger is the only known person to ever challenge any book at the library, challenging “The Mirror Season” for a scene depicting sexual assault, and “Only Mostly Devastated.” The board ultimately decided to keep “The Mirror Season” in its current section, but voted to move a trigger warning for sexual assault to the front page of the book.

With no Democrat candidate running for the seat, the only option remaining for Democrat voters in Dale County to have a voice in the election is by swapping primaries to vote. This is, of course, true in many Alabama counties, particularly in rural areas.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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