Brown cites alleged voter irregularities

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 19, 2002

Saying it’s time for dead people to quit voting in Dallas County, Democratic primary candidate LaTosha Brown held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce that she has uncovered numerous voter irregularities in the state House of Representatives runoff for District 67.

Speaking on the steps of the Dallas County Courthouse Annex, Brown declared, “I am more convinced than ever that I won this election.”

Brown lost the June 25 runoff to Yusuf Salaam by 138 votes. She has filed a contest of that election with the state Democratic Party and a hearing is scheduled Monday at 10 a.m. in the annex.

A motion hearing was held Thursday to determine several last-minute legal issues concerning Monday’s hearing, which will be heard by five members of the Alabama Democratic Party Executive Committee.

Brown said she and her legal advisers, which include April Albright, Hank Sanders and Rose Toure, have uncovered the names of at least 150 people who voted Republican in the June 4 primary and then “crossed over” to vote Democratic in the June 25 runoff – including possibly District 67 Republican candidate Mark Story.

During the press conference, Albright stated that Story’s signature appears on the Democratic list of voters. A fax sent later by Albright clarified that there are two signatures that appear to be that of Mark Story – one on the Democratic list of voters and one on the Republican – and that the contestants plan to depose Story about the apparent conflict as part of the hearing.

Crossover voting is against Democratic Party bylaws.

“The rules state that the candidate who receives the most Democratic votes wins,” Brown said. “I received the majority of the Democratic vote and therefore I am the legitimate candidate.”

Brown said she and her advisers had also uncovered evidence of other voting irregularities — including missing voter lists, election boxes that had been illegally opened between the polling place and the sheriff’s office, and even some indications that voter lists contained the names of dead people.

“It concerns me that in 2002 we still have dead people voting,” Brown said.

She added that voting irregularities have been a part of Dallas County politics for too long. “We have to make sure the integrity of this election is not compromised,” Brown said. “I refuse to let this race be stolen.”

During the press conference Brown was surrounded by a handful of young people who appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s. Some carried signs reading “Operation Pay Day” and “The Big Pay Back – It’s Time.”

Earlier they had carried the signs as they marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Many of them crowded into the second-floor circuit court courtroom to listen to the motion hearing, but their numbers gradually diminished as the affair wore on.

The members of the state Democratic Party Executive Committee selected to hear the contest Monday are Terry Davis, Cleo Thomas, Lena Hardaway, Mildred Worthy and Amy Burkes.