Absentee ballots questioned

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Some absentee voters in Hale County were a bit surprised to find the address on their return ballot envelope was not the courthouse address, but a post office box in Sawyerville.

“Several people have called concerned because their ballots are not going to the courthouse, but to a P.O. box in Sawyerville,” Ronnie Crawford, executive chairman of the Democratic Committee, said.

He said the Democratic headquarters in Montgomery is researching the issue.

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Hale County Circuit Clerk Gay Nell Tinker, who serves as the absentee manager, said she would prepare a statement regarding the address, but said it has not changed from previous elections.

“Absentee ballots have always gone to the courthouse in the past,” Crawford said.

Additionally, Crawford said he had been told that not all the absentee ballots sent out were addressed to Sawyerville, but many had the appropriate courthouse address on it.

“They’ve only been changed for some people,” he said. “That’s my understanding.”

Tinker would not say who the address belonged to, but sources say the clerk lives in Sawyerville.

Not only does she live in Sawyerville, but she is reportedly married to or at least living with State Senate District 24 candidate Bobby Singleton.

“Whether they’re married or not, if you’re living with a candidate and you’re handling ballots for that election, there’s something wrong with that,” Crawford said.