MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday proposed legislation that would bar officials from accepting donations, grants and private services to help fund election-related expenses, including voter registration. , education and awareness.
Representatives voted 72-28 for the bill with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. The bill is now moving through the Alabama Senate.
“The intent of the bill is to ensure that it puts in place a firewall where no private funding goes to any official responsible for the conduct of our elections and the administration of our election law,” said Representative Wes Allen, the Troy Republican sponsoring the bill. Allen is currently running for secretary of state from Alabama.
The bill would make it a crime for a public official to accept donations, grants and donated services from an individual or non-governmental entity to help fund election-related expenses or the education of voters, voter education or voter registration programs.
While Republicans argued it was necessary to protect the integrity of the election, opponents said it would hamper election administration in poor counties and have a chilling effect on efforts to help people s register and vote.
The League of Women Voters of Alabama, American of Alabama, Black Voters Matter and other groups spoke out against the bill at a press conference on Tuesday
“This is a bill that does harm while trying to solve a non-issue,” said Kathy Jones, president of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Alabama.
Republicans in at least eight GOP-controlled states have banned donations to election offices this year as Republicans attempt to block outside funding for voting operations.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.