This article by Kati Weis was published December 18, 2017 by Fox10 News.
ALABAMA (WALA)—-Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is investigating a concern over potential voter fraud in last Tuesday’s special Senate election.
It all stems from a brief interview FOX10 News Reporter Kati Weis conducted at the Doug Jones victory party on election night when a young man made a comment that has now gone viral on social media.
The interview took place just minutes after the race had been called.
While live on air, in the middle of the crowded party, Kati walked up to a number of jubilant supporters at random, asking them for their reactions to the big win.
But, it was this question and answer that has caused controversy:
“Kati: Why are you excited to see this victory?
Man: Because, we came here all the way from different parts of the country as part of our fellowship, and all of us pitched in to vote and canvas together, and we got our boy elected!”
Merrill said he is trying to find out who the man is, and if he really meant what he said, or if he only misspoke.
“Well, it’s very disconcerting when someone who’s not from Alabama says that they participated in our election, so now it’s incumbent upon us to try to identify this young man, to see what kind of role he played, if it was to simply play a canvassing roll, or if he was part of a process that went out and tried to register voters, or if he himself actually became a registered voter,” said Merrill.
Merrill said, so far, there is no concrete evidence that any voter fraud has taken place.
“We don’t have any evidence of people doing that, our numbers do not indicate that has happened, but when you have someone actually recorded on television saying that they voted, and that’s what he said, then we’ve got to get to the bottom of that,” said Merrill.
The Secretary of State’s Office also said voter fraud would be unlikely because every voter is required to show a government photo identification card before casting a vote.
“We have one of the most stringent voting laws in the nation,” said Merrill.
FOX10 News has also been trying to find out who the man in question is, even reaching out to the Doug Jones campaign for a list of volunteers, but the Jones campaign said it does not have access to the countless groups who volunteered to help canvas and campaign.
Merrill said the Jones campaign has been cooperative with his investigation.
It’s also important to note, because the race received so much national attention, there were many campaign volunteers who came from all over the country to help get the vote out for Jones.
In fact, some celebrities, who do not live in Alabama, also came to Birmingham last week to speak in support of Jones, including famous basketball player Charles Barkley.
Meanwhile, Merrill said the results of the election will be completely certified sometime in the week after Christmas.