Allen’s bill signed into law

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, April 14, 2022

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Rep. Wes Allen’s, R-Troy, Zuckerbucks bill was signed into law by Alabama Gopv. Kay Ivey.

Wes Allen

Allen sponsored HB194 which bans private individuals or organization from purchasing election machines, ballots or supplies and prohibits those same entities from paying election administration officials or their staffs. That bill passed both the Alabama House and Senate and, yesterday, Ivey signed it, making it law in Alabama.

“I am proud to have sponsored and passed this important elections integrity bill,” Allen said. “We will never again see people like Mark Zuckerberg attempting to buy our elections process with “donations” and “grants” to our elections officials. This is strong legislation and I am very proud of it.”

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The bill would make it a Class B misdemeanor for any “state or local public official responsible for the conduct of an election, nor his or her employee, to solicit, accept, or use any donation in the form of money, grants, property, or personal services from an individual or a nongovernmental entity for the purpose of funding election-related expenses or voter education, voter outreach, or voter registration programs.”

Allen serves as the vice-chair of the House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee. Allen said he served nearly a decade as probate judge, the chief election officer, in Pike County and that experience helped him draft and pass this legislation.

Allen said the bill was introduced to prevent private individuals or organizations from influencing elections. Allen said during the 2020 election cycle, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent millions of dollars to county election officials through a series of grants. These grants were distributed almost entirely to Democrat-leaning counties, including seven counties in Alabama, Allen said.

“All elections expenses in every election in every county in Alabama have always been entirely funded by the government and no aspect of those elections has ever gone unfunded,” Allen said. “There is absolutely no legitimate reason for anyone to have the chance to “buy” any aspect of the ballots, equipment or people that are involved with the administration of our elections.”

The bill will pass to the Senate for consideration. If approved by the Senate, the bill will be sent to the desk of Gov. Kay Ivey for approval.

The Alabama Voting Rights Coalition maintained the bill would directly impact the way they provide Alabamians with voter education programs “making it an attack on democracy through voter suppression.”

The Coalition released a statement that read. “HB 194 would make it illegal for grassroots organizations to collaborate with local elections officials to educate and help voters get out the vote. This means that churches, nonprofits and other civic organizations would be prohibited from filling the gaps and helping Alabamians have the resources to get out the vote.”

Allen said the Coalition was  blatantly spreading falsehoods about the bill.