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Alabama: 5 Years In Prison For Voting The Wrong Way

Alabama: 5 Years In Prison For Voting The Wrong Way

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Voting the wrong way might lead to a five-year prison term in Alabama.

Secretary of State John Merrill, a Republican, wants the 674 people who crossed parties to vote in a recent runoff election prosecuted.

“If these people knowingly and willfully voted because they didn’t like the law, they thought the law was wrong, they thought the law was stupid, they didn’t think the law should be enforced, our intentions are to identify those people, fully investigate them, if it’s warranted to have them indicted, to have them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Merrill, according to Think Progress. “I want every one of them that meets that criteria to be sentenced to five years in the penitentiary and to pay a $15,000 fine for restitution. That’s what I want.”

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

A new law prohibits crossover voting – that is, voting in a Republican primary when someone is registered as a Democrat, and vice versa. Upwards of 674 voted in both the August Democratic primary and then a September GOP runoff. Although that previously was legal, the legislature passed a vote in the previous session banning it. Crossover voting still is allowed in a handful of other states.

Roy Moore defeated U.S. Sen. Luther Strange in the September GOP runoff.

Randall Marshall of the ACLU of Alabama said he was “stunned” by Merrill’s threat.

“This is a brand new law,” he told Think Progress. “People have been allowed in Alabama to crossover vote prior to this special election.”

Further, Marshall said, anyone who tried to vote in both primaries – accident or no accidentally — should have been stopped from doing so by poll officials.

“Crossover voting should not have been permitted to even occur,” Marshall told the website. “Instead of putting it on the backs of voters and effectively chilling the right to vote going forward for fear of doing something that gets you put in prison for five years, this is a strong message from the state that we don’t care about your right to vote.”

The state asserted that there were signs notifying people of the new law.

Said Marshall, “When I got to the polls, I don’t read the stuff that’s on the wall. The notion that, there is signage here and that takes care of the state’s obligation I think is pretty small-minded.”

What do you think? Should voters who violated the law be prosecuted? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. “When I drive down the road, I don’t read the stuff that’s on signs. The notion that there’s a speed limit I think is pretty small-minded.”
    Wonder how that would fly?

  2. We are NOT supposed to have political parties. Nor are those factions (political parties) supposed to select our candidates to choose from. So do they gete to say what we can do with “our voice”? Lawfully no. But those that have been working to destroy our nation from within will keep it as it is for the power it gives them and it disenfrachises the people. This is a good reason to start reading and studying the US Constitution, the debates concerning it, the writings of the time, the framers comments.

    I think they should be charged with the crimes that they have committed, and that “law” is not a Law (in Pursuance thereof the US Constitution), but is Color of law, pretend law as so many of them are today.

    George Washington, Farewell Address: “And of fatal tendency … to put, in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party – often a small but artful and enterprising minority. … They are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

    George Washington, Farewell Address: ‘The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty
    Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
    It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”

    John Adams: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

    Thomas Jefferson, though he basically started a party, he never trusted them to have anything but theire own power as the reason for existing: “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.” (Letter to Francis Hopkinson (March 13, 1789). In: Merrill D. Peterson (ed.), Letters of Thomas Jefferson, New York, 1984, pp. 940-42. [PL Ford, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 5, pp. 75-78])

    Plus Jefferson also said: “The happiness of society depends so much on preventing party spirit from infecting the common intercourse of life, that nothing should be spared to harmonize and amalgamate the two parties in social circles. (Thomas Jefferson, To William C. Claiborne, July 1801)

    Again Jefferson: “You will soon find that so inveterate is the rancor of party spirit among us, that nothing ought to be credited but what we hear with our own ears. If you are less on your guard than we are here, at this moment, the designs of the mischief-makers will not fail to be accomplished, and brethren and friends will be made strangers and enemies to each other.” (To James Monroe, March 1808)

    Alexander Hamilton: “Nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties.” (Federalist 1)

    James Madison: “A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.” (Federalist #10)

  3. Stupid law, and probably unconstitutional as well.
    In many states you don’t have to declare a party to vote in a primary. You can vote in either one; but not both.

  4. i think you should be able to share your vote

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