MONTGOMERY — Whether or not Alabamians vote in an election is public record. Whom they vote for is not.
The Alabama Secretary of State’s office says voters’ records are being misrepresented by a political action committee in ads encouraging people to vote for Democrat Doug Jones for U.S. Senate.
“Your vote is public record and your community will know if you helped stop Roy Moore,” an online video ad from the group Highway 31 says. The group has similar still ads on social media.
When voters cast a ballot, the state’s voter registration system is updated to document the election that a voter participated in but no record is ever made documenting the candidate for whom the ballot was cast, the Secretary of State’s office said in a statement.
The office said it’s also contacted Highway 31 about “misrepresentations” in the ad.
“Monday, the PAC responded to the Office and indicated they would not amend nor take out any of the information in the ad,” Secretary of State spokesman John Bennett said.
Whether a voter casts a ballot in a Republican or Democrat primary or runoff can be made public and is available to those who purchase voter rolls, Bennett said.
“Never is the candidate that a ballot was cast for — that’s not available to anyone,” he said.
A spokesman for Highway 31 released this statement: “The Secretary of State is distorting the intent of the ad. Whether or not someone votes is public knowledge. The ad is not improper. Standing up and voting against Roy Moore on December 12 is critically important to the future of our state and we are going to make sure all Alabamians know that.”
Moore, the GOP nominee in next week’s special U.S. Senate race, has been accused by multiple women in the last month of sexual misconduct more than 30 years ago when they were teens. Moore has denied any wrongdoing.
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