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Change of votes in November could affect electoral laws

Change of votes in November could affect electoral laws

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Election Day is less than a month away and there will be more than just candidates on the ballot this year. There are 10 constitutional amendments that voters can adopt.

Amendment Four is an election law passed by the legislature in 2021. The ballot text reads:

“Proposed Amendment to the Alabama Constitution of 1901, as amended; provide that the implementation date of any bill enacted by the legislature in any calendar year in which a general election is held and that relates to the holding of the general election shall be at least six months before the general election.”

If passed, any law passed by the state legislature during an election year that affects the holding of a general election must take effect at least six months before the general election.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says this is important to Alabamans when the legislation is passed.

“When it comes to a change in the electoral process, people need to have time to process it and know what changes are happening and why they are important and significant,” Merrill said.

When the original legislation was in the House of Representatives, it was passed along party lines. Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Jefferson County) says the change is unwarranted.

"All of these election laws are basically the result of what they're calling the 2020 election grand theft," he said. "For Whom There Was No Trapping in Alabama".

Opponents like the League of Women Voters of Alabama or LWVAL argue that no major changes can be made and

"If you look at what happened recently in Florida with the hurricane, Governor DeSantis delayed voter registration deadlines because so many people were unable to register while dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane," said Kathy Jones, president of LWVAL.

Jones believes that if this amendment is passed to prevent changes to the election code, it would be illegal to make such changes. However, Merrill denies this belief.

"There are already laws that allow us to take full advantage of any shelter that needs to be provided in an emergency situation, whether it's a health issue like we've seen with COVID or other things," Merrill said.

Merrill said the most important thing is to protect Alabamans and their elections.

"If they can understand that it's not going to affect that particular election, they can more easily know that no one is trying to sweep them under the rug or set them up in a certain way that wouldn't be good for all the people in the state of." be an advantage," Merrill said.

You can read the full amendment and others on the Alabama Secretary of State's website, courtesy of the Fair Ballot Commission.

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