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Monday, September 5, 2016

Kyle accuses Bowling of election law violations By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer Updated Sep 4, 2016

Blogger Comments:  Folks, Bowling's alleged actives at the voting station sounds just like Sheriff Ana Franklin in the primary elections during her second term.  Sounds like Bowling has been taking lessons from Sheriff Ana Franklin on how to cheat.  It makes us wonder if maybe the information we received that Bowling was going to funnel $900,000.00 to the sheriff's office if he won is not so far fetched after all.

Pictures of the activities Sheriff Ana Franklin was involved in went to the State Attorney General Luther Strange.  During the first election she handed out flyers to the MCSO to join the gym that Ziaja bought for her so she would look like a business person.  So Big Luther took all of the complaints to include the ones where Franklin hired her common law son-in-law as a Corrections Officer during the time he was in jail in Limestone County.

All of this information is on the blog.

Big Luther did this when he received the complaints. He trashed it.



Decatur Daily article dated September 4, 2016 provided below



  • By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer
  • Updated
  •  Don Kyle has filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office accusing his runoff opponent, Tab Bowling, of violating Alabama election laws during the Aug. 23 municipal election.
Kyle said he filed the complaint — which focuses on campaign-related activities in or near the polling place — with the Attorney General’s Office on the recommendation of Morgan County Probate Judge Greg Cain.
Bowling and his attorney, former City Councilman Greg Reeves, acknowledged Bowling spent time at a voting precinct but said they believe he did nothing wrong.
Joy Patterson, spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office, said she could not confirm or comment on whether her office received the complaint.
Kyle accused Bowling of:
• Illegally wearing his campaign shirt while participating as a poll watcher at the Decatur Baptist Church precinct, including “opening the door and greeting each voter.”
• Illegally campaigning within 30 feet of the precinct entrance.
• Taking photos and videos of himself and his wife, Sherry, inside while voting in the precinct and posting them on social media.
• Campaigning with a car magnet that doesn’t have the required “paid political advertisement by … .”
Kyle said he filed the complaint on election day. He said he is just now going public because he thought the Attorney General’s Office would have responded already.
Kyle said he also went public because “frankly, the people of the city of Decatur need to know what kind of person they’re considering voting for” in the Oct. 4 runoff. He said voters should be concerned about whether they can trust Bowling.
“Whoever is mayor will have to swear to uphold the law and, if he’s willing to bend the rules, which are laws, just to get elected, the citizens should be concerned about what he’s willing to do when he’s the top dog in office and doesn’t have anyone looking over his shoulder,” Kyle said.
Bowling, who finished first in the municipal election with 48.3 percent of the vote, said he is a “law-abiding citizen” who serves his family, city and church. Kyle was second with 23.94 percent of the vote in the five-man race.
“While I don’t want to throw stones at Mayor Kyle, there’s somewhat of a desperation in the comments he made,” Bowling said. “The residents and the majority of the people know about Tab Bowling, my character and my integrity.
“I am very uncomfortable responding to something like that (Kyle’s comments) and the self-promotion. Shame on him.” he added.
Bowling said he couldn’t sleep, so he got up early on election day and decided to go on to the city’s largest precinct, Decatur Baptist Church.
While wearing his campaign T-shirt, he took the oath of office with the other poll workers at 6:30 a.m. He posted a photo on Facebook with a comment on how proud and emotional taking the oath made him.
Kyle said Bowling “duped” the poll inspector into letting him swear in as a poll watcher. Kyle said he has witnesses who said Bowling opened the door for voters and greeted them while wearing his campaign T-shirt.
Bowling said he didn’t stay inside the polling place because he decided he preferred to be outside. He said a portion of the handicapped parking at the church is closer than 30 feet, and he did help some to get in and out of their vehicles.
“Maybe there were a couple of times when I could have gone a little beyond what I should have to help some people, but I didn’t solicit voters,” Bowling said.
Mayoral candidate Jeremy Goforth said he was at Decatur Baptist briefly that morning. He said he didn’t see Bowling in the precinct, but said he was outside the 30-foot boundary while he was there.
On the recommendation of an adviser, Bowling said he and his wife took photos of themselves casting their votes “just as you’ve seen candidates for presidents and other national offices do.” He then posted those photos on Facebook.
Bowling said he didn’t shoot video. Facebook created a slideshow of his photos that some may have thought was a video, he said.
Kyle said he was in City Clerk Stacy Gilley’s office “when she began receiving calls and forwarded Facebook posts with complaints about Mr. Bowling’s actions on the morning of the election.”
Gilley said she received the complaints between 9:30 and 10 a.m. She said she spoke with the poll inspector and “counseled her” that Bowling should not have been allowed to swear in as a poll watcher.
“I spoke with Mr. Bowling, and he stated he didn’t realize he couldn’t be a poll watcher,” Gilley said. “He did remove himself as soon as we finished our conversation.”
Gilley said each candidate received a packet of materials about election rules and requirements when they qualified July 19. She then went over a checklist of information like election rules, financial reporting requirements and important campaign dates. Each candidate then signs that they understand the rules.
Gilley said she told the candidates they could send a representative to be a poll watcher, “But I didn’t think he (Bowling) would show up.”
She added that poll watchers are at the polls “just merely to observe. They’re not there to campaign. If someone asks for assistance, they can help them.”
State law prohibits a poll watcher from displaying or wearing "any campaign material or buttons while inside any polling place."
Goforth said it was clear to him after meeting with Gilley that a candidate could not be a poll watcher.
Kyle said a candidate doesn’t need to be a lawyer to understand the election rules. He said Gilley, Cain and the secretary of state’s website will help candidates if they have a question about the rules.
Cain said state election laws, which are under Section 17 of the state code, do not allow candidates to be inside the precinct with a campaign T-shirt or buttons except to briefly vote.
Candidates cannot get closer than 30 feet from the precinct entrance to campaign, and photos and video aren’t allowed inside during voting, Cain and Gilley said.
“That’s why the media can only shoot inside prior to the opening of the polls,” Gilley said.
Reeves said state election laws can be confusing, but the rules for municipal elections are different from state and county elections on the issue of poll watchers.
“On the county or state level, there are party poll watchers,” Reeves said. “In a municipal election, some states say a candidate may appoint a representative. Alabama doesn’t say that. It leaves it open.”
Reeves said that, even if Bowling wasn’t supposed to be sworn in, there was “no harm, no foul because he never did act as poll watcher.”
Reeves said state election law allows a voter to waive his or her right to privacy and allow photos or videos when he or she is voting.
“The main thing is ballot secrecy, but if the voter is OK with photos or video, then it’s OK,” Reeves said. “We know Mr. Bowling was OK with his photo being taken. We would assume Mrs. Bowling supports her husband and consented to the photos.”
While the Secretary of State’s Office usually oversees elections, Cain said he recommended Kyle file the complaint with the attorney general because that office or the local district attorney would be in charge of enforcement.
Cain said state election law does not give a suggested punishment for the violations Bowling is accused of committing.
“When you’re asking someone to uphold the law," Kyle said, "there ought to be some serious repercussions."
bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.

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