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Merrill: State will monitor Montgomery election

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Twelve complaints regarding the recent municipal election in Montgomery have prompted state officials to provide monitors for the next vote.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Thursday that five teams of two observers each will watch over the Montgomery municipal runoff on Oct. 8.

Merrill says reports of voter fraud following the city’s municipal election Aug. 27 sparked the plan. He says most complaints were about delays in reporting information and improper use of election equipment.

Voting machines weren’t tested ahead of the election, which Merrill says is standard operating procedure. He says some of the election workers lacked proper training.

“We’re going to do whatever’s necessary to ensure the credibility and the integrity of the elections process, with municipal, county, state or federal level,” Merrill said.

Probate Judge Steven Reed and businessman David Woods were the top vote earners in the August 27th election for mayor and will face each other in an October 7 runoff. Reed received about 42 percent and Woods received 24 percent.

As Probate Judge, Reed’s office oversees the Montgomery County Election Center, which was the focus of the complaints.

Merrill says the state has sent observers to other elections in the past. State monitors have been used in seven municipal elections in Alabama since 2016.

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