MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Every election complaint connected to Alabama's 2016 election cycle, as well as the 2017 special Senate election, have been resolved or closed, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.
Merrill says the resolutions or closures affect 92 percent of all election issues submitted by citizens since he took office.
"Our goal since taking office has been to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat," Merrill said. "When I first sought this office, there was no process for documenting voter fraud reports. We established a website dedicated to this issue – stopvoterfraudnow.com – to make sure each report is given the attention it deserves. It is unfortunate complaints like this have to be made at all, but I am proud of the way we have worked to follow through and get them closed or reported to the appropriate authorities."
Complaints, of which there were 764 over a three year period from 2015 to 2018, range from second-hand reports of unauthorized campaigning at the polls to more serious accusations of voting fraud. Only 58 complaints remain pending or under investigation.
Of the 706 closed reports, seven were handled by a team from the Secretary of State's office, 24 were sent to the Ethics Commission, 37 were reported to the Attorney General, 151 were closed due to lack of sufficient information, 446 were closed generally, 39 were reported to local or state law enforcement and two were withdrawn.
Complaints are sent to the Ethics Commission if they involve campaign material disclaimers or campaign finance issues. Complaints to the Attorney General's include absentee balloting issues or misuse of campaign materials. ALEA receives referrals when there is evidence of absentee ballot fraud.
Merrill said his office does not look into complaints that are not attributed to a source or that are anonymously submitted but does not release the names of those who submit complaints.
Anyone looking to report any issue with elections or voting can by calling the Secretary of State's office at 334-242-7200 or www.stopvoterfraudnow.com.