Crossover voters won’t be prosecuted for violations

Published 5:23 pm Thursday, December 6, 2018

On Thursday, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill’s office released a statement saying that none of the 140 voters found to have engaged in “crossover voting” will be prosecuted.

In this case, crossover voters were found to have voted in the 2017 Democratic primary on Aug. 15 and then voting in the Republican run-off election on Sept. 26.

Crossover voting is the practice of voting in a party’s primary with which one is not usually affiliated and is illegal in Alabama.

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A person found to have violated the state’s crossover voting law can be punished with up to one year in jail and a fine of $15,000.

According to the press release, Merrill’s office uncovered 140 voters who had violated the law last year.

Merrill’s office corresponded with Probate Judges, who are tasked with deciding “whether those listed were willful in their intent, negligent, or whether these findings were listed in error” in each of the 41 counties in which the violations allegedly took place.

None determined that it was necessary to prosecute those who were guilty of crossover voting.

At the end of the 2018 Run-Off Election, 398 voters were “found to be in violation of the crossover voting law.”

Merrill directed the Elections Division to compare those on the 2018 list with those on the 2017 list, after which only one person was found to have potentially violated the law in both elections.

Merrill personally visited and interviewed that voter and decided that either “the poll worker or a county registrar improperly marked the wrong political party in processing the voters’ primary voter participation credit” and no legal action was necessary, according to the release.