§ 820-2-4-.09. Procedures For Amendment Of Certifications Of Candidates By Political Parties
(1) The following definitions are applicable to this Rule:
(a) "Certification of candidates" means a written listing provided by a political party of candidates legally qualified and entitled to appear on the ballot in a primary, special or general election.
(b) "Political party" is an organization of qualified electors seeking to elect candidates to public office and meeting the requirements of Sections 17-8-2.1, Code of Ala. 1975, or 17-16-2, Code.
(c) "Amendment of certification" means a written modification of a previously submitted certification of candidates submitted before or after a deadline for submitting a certification of candidates but, unless otherwise provided by law or order of a court of competent jurisdiction, prior to the printing of ballots in support of absentee voting.
(2) The following findings of fact and law are made in support of this rule:
(a) The Secretary of State finds that a long-standing practice of permitting amendments to certifications has functioned to correct and modify certifications of candidates by political parties. These amendments are designed to correct errors in certifications (such as name spellings and the office sought) and exercise the authority of the political party in determining candidates for office through correcting omissions, disqualifications, and the filling of vacancies.
(b) Generally, political parties will certify candidates for a primary election or nominees for the general election. Due to the brief time frames often involved and the scope of the political party= s responsibility, errors in the certifications and a variety of other changes may compel changes to the certification. Examples include misspelled names, subsequent withdrawal of candidates and subsequent disqualification of candidates. Amending the certification provides a formal process consistent with practice which ensures the accuracy of the ballot.
(c) While silent on a procedure for amending certifications of candidates, Alabama= s statutes providing for certifications of candidates are not in conflict with an opportunity to amend such certifications.
(d) The deadline for amending certifications, as a practical matter, occurs when the ballots for a particular race have been printed.
(3) Election officials are authorized to submit, accept and otherwise act on amendments to certifications of candidates to the full extent permitted by the circumstances or until the applicable ballots are printed, whichever occurs first.
Author: Charles E. Grainger, Jr.(New Rule: Filed September 26, 2003; effective October 31, 2003.)
Statutory Authority: § 1 of Act No. 2003-313; Attorney General Opinion No. 97-00109.
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