House passes bill criminalizing voting in Alabama, another state in same election

Alabama sees long wait times on Election Day
Alabama sees long wait times on Election Day(Source: WTVM)
Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama House passed a bill that would make it illegal to vote in the same election in Alabama and another state.

The bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor for someone who knowingly votes in Alabama and another state in the same election.

Rep. Chris Blackshear, R-Phenix City, is the bill sponsor. He said six Alabamians voted twice like this in 2018.

“I’m just a firm believer when it comes to voter fraud. One is too many,” Blackshear said. “I think we should get as close to perfect as we can.”

Blackshear said none of these six people were prosecuted because there was not a law on the books preventing this.

Several Democrats questioned why the bill was brought up if only six people double-voted.

“We are one step away from Jim Crow,” said Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham. She believes the bill would disenfranchise black voters.

Originally the bill made it a Class C felony for someone who violates the law which could lead to up to 10 years in prison. Several Democrats said it was too serious of a punishment.

Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, proposed an amendment to change the penalty to a Class A misdemeanor, which is up to a year in jail. The amendment passed 60-31 on the floor.

The House passed the bill 76-12.

It is currently illegal to vote twice in the same election in Alabama.

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