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June 3, 2008
Federal Observers Report Possible Elections Violations to Secretary of State Beth Chapman

MONTGOMERY – After 1:00 PM today, a federal observer from the Department of Justice notified Secretary of State Beth Chapman’s office of potential violations of state elections laws.  One report involves a law which prohibits candidates from being closer than thirty feet to the entrance of a polling place. The federal observer specifically stated that a candidate was loitering in the polling place throughout the entire day.  In addition, the federal observer reported that the candidate appeared to be instructing voters how to vote.


Chapman immediately began to notify law enforcement and elections officials in Perry County of the reports.


"Just last night on television a young man from Perry County admitted to selling his vote. That combined with these complaints from a federal observer and the astronomically high number of absentee ballots in that county (past and present), makes Perry County a prime suspect for voting irregularities that need to be investigated,” Chapman said.


Perry County has a history of unusually high absentee ballot usage and is presently reporting 1,601 absentee ballots requested and 1,114 received.


"These numbers are not within the state norm. I cannot say these high numbers are impossible, but I can say it is highly unlikely,” Chapman said. "I will be fully cooperating with law enforcement officials to ensure that anyone, anywhere committing voter fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."



For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: