‘We will not be bamboozled’: Phenix City NAACP calls for voter fraud state investigation

This article by Alva James-Johnson was published on December 12, 2017 by the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Phenix City branch of the NAACP called again Monday for officials to investigate allegations of voter fraud, suppression and disenfranchisement.

The Rev. Alfonza Seldon, local branch first vice president, said some of the 82 voters who allegedly voted using a business address rather than their residence are government officials. He said voter fraud is illegal and people should be held accountable.

“An indignity has been levied against the citizens of District 2 as well as the candidates by those identified persons, some of whom have taken the oath of office to uphold the rule of law,” Seldon said at a news conference in front of the Russell County Courthouse. “They have caused an unfair and unjust election.”

Later, when asked what government officials were on the list, Seldon said he’s not at liberty to say.

The issue of people potentially voting out of district was raised on Nov. 20 at a Phenix City Council work session. At that time, council was informed the Phenix City Police Department was investigating.

In November, police asked the Russell County Board of Registrars to remove 82 names from the voter list prior to the Dec. 19 runoff to elect a councilmember.

Seldon said the NAACP spoke with Alabama Probate Judge Alford Harden to question the formalities of outside district voting and notify him of the infraction. He said Harden told the group that he has nothing to do with the election.

NAACP officials also spoke to a member of the Board of Registrars who said there was a gray area in different code manuals regarding the term “primary domicile” in election code, according to Seldon.

“If that is true, why—out of 6,000 eligible voters in District 2—do only 80 plus people know about this?” he asked. “… We will not be bamboozled. We will not stand idle and be hoodwinked.”

Seldon said the NAACP will be reaching out to the Secretary of State to produce both manuals for clarification. He encouraged residents to file complaints.

“Now, the who’s who of Phenix City seems to have become complicit in nepotism involvement,” he said. “But if the average citizens engaged in this manipulation of domicile, I ask you this question: ‘Would the results be the same?’

“… Once this issue was brought to the forefront, why was there not an investigation put in place by the Secretary of State to consider and review the wrong doings of the Nov. 14 election,” he said. “Therefore we will be requesting a formal investigator from the office of the Secretary of State.”