Contact Info : Beth.Chapman@sos.alabama.gov
Per Section 17-13-70 of Alabama Statutes
A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit aimed at keeping President Barack Obama off the ballot in Alabama this year.
Circuit Judge Helen Shores Lee ruled Monday in Birmingham against a complaint that argued Obama isn’t a natural-born U.S. citizen and can’t legally serve as president. The judge’s ruling followed a brief hearing.
The man who filed the suit, Albert Hendershot Jr., declined comment. His complaint contended Obama has a fake birth certificate and Social Security number. He sued state Democrats in an attempt to keep Obama off the ballot in the presidential election.
Democratic Party attorney Barry Ragsdale successfully argued this is a political issue that shouldn’t be in court.
Party officials had said the judge needed to act quickly because the party and state election officials need to prepare for Alabama’s presidential preference primary on March 13.
Time for contesting generally; hearing.
Any contest to a nomination made by primary election must be filed within 24 hours after the results of the primary election have been declared, weekends excluded, under the same conditions and on the same grounds as provided in the laws of Alabama for general elections of state and county officers and as provided in this chapter. The person whose nomination is contested under this section shall be notified of the contest in accordance with Section 17-13-83 and shall have five days after notice of the filing of the contest within which to file with the chair his or her objections and answers to such contest. Such contest shall be heard and tried by the county executive committee as to candidates for county offices and by the state committee as to candidates for all other offices; and wherever there is no county executive committee consisting of enough members to obtain a quorum, then by the state executive committee.
Per Section 17-13-71 of Alabama Statutes
The contests of nomination by a party for office, other than a county office, may be instituted by any qualified elector of the state, or of the political subdivision, as the case may be, who belongs to that party and who legally participated in such primary election, upon the following grounds, which may be used separately, or else be joined in the same contest:
(1) Malconduct, fraud, or corruption on the part of any inspector, clerk, returning officer, canvassing board, or other persons.
(2) When a person whose nomination is contested was not eligible to the office sought at the time of the declaration of nomination.
(3) On account of illegal votes given.
(4) On account of the rejection of legal votes.
(5) Offers to bribe, bribery, intimidation, or other malconduct or misconduct calculated to prevent a fair, free, and full exercise of the elective franchise.
(6) Miscalculation, mistake, or misconduct in counting, tallying, certifying, or canvassing which of itself alone or in conjunction with the giving of illegal votes or the rejection of legal votes, or any other ground, would, when everything is corrected, reduce the number of legal votes cast for the declared nominee down to or below those of some other candidate in that race.
Contributed by Zeb Blanchard:
Alabama primary elections codes:
Filing of declaration of candidacy; certification of names of candidates; preparation of ballots; unopposed candidates.
(a) All candidates for nomination to public office or for election to party office in the primary election provided for in this chapter shall file their declaration of candidacy with the state party chair if they seek any federal, state, circuit, or district office, or the state Senate, House of Representatives, or any other office that is not a county office not later than 5:00 P.M. 60 days before the date of the primary election. All candidates for nomination or election to a county office shall file their declaration with the county party chair not later than 5:00 P.M. 60 days before the date of the primary election.
(b) The state party chair shall, no later than 5:00 P.M. 55 days before the primary election, certify the names of all primary election candidates, except candidates for county offices, to the Secretary of State. The county party chair shall, not later than 5:00 P.M. 55 days prior to the date of the primary election, certify to the judge of probate the names of all candidates for nomination to county offices or election to county party offices. The Secretary of State shall, not less than 50 days prior to the date of the primary election, and not less than 25 days prior to the primary election in the 1992 election cycle only, certify to the judge of probate of every county in which the election is to be held the names of the opposed candidates for nomination to federal, state, circuit, or district offices, the state Senate, House of Representatives, and all other opposed candidates to public or party office, except candidates for county offices.
(c) The judge of probate of each county shall have the ballots prepared for the primary election. If a legally qualified candidate for nomination to an office is unopposed when the last date for filing declarations of candidacy has passed, his or her name shall not appear on the ballots to be used in the primary election, and he or she shall be the nominee of the party with which he or she has qualified for the office. If a legally qualified candidate for election to a party office is unopposed when the last date for filing declarations of candidacy has passed, his or her name shall not appear on the ballots to be used in the primary election, and he or she shall be declared elected to the party office for which he or she qualified.
Only qualified candidates to be listed on ballots.
The name of no candidate shall be printed upon any official ballot used at any primary election unless such person is legally qualified to hold the office for which he or she is a candidate and unless he or she is eligible to vote in the primary election in which he or she seeks to be a candidate and possesses the political qualifications prescribed by the governing body of his or her political party.
Penalties for making false statements to board, etc.
Any person who willfully makes a false statement to the board of registrars, or any duly authorized person, in reidentifying himself or herself as a qualified elector in the manner provided in Chapter 4 shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a Class A misdemeanor.