Situated halfway between Mobile and Montgomery along I-65, the Southern Alabama town of Evergreen (pop. 3,944) isn’t very different from lots of other small towns in the South. It’s poor – the average household income according to the 2010 Census is just under $21,000 per year – and it’s mostly African American (62 percent of Evergreen’s citizens are African American).
Just like in many other small southern towns, they take their elections seriously in Evergreen.
In 2008, it appears, some took those elections a bit too seriously – setting off what has become a four-year legal and civic nightmare for a town which can’t afford a bloody internecine fight. Now unfortunately, like more and more small towns strategically located across this country, Evergreen, Alabama finds itself under attack.
A CLOSE ELECTION
Incumbent Larry Fluker had been elected as Evergreen’s first black mayor, but local businessman Pete Wolff III, who is white, gave him a strong run for his money as Fluker sought re-election. The race descended into a largely black-vs-white slugfest, and allegations of dirty tricks and fraud were thrown by both sides.
On Election Night, Wolff bested Fluker by a scant two votes. His victory was to be short-lived, though, as six days later Fluker added enough provisional ballots to top Wolff by five votes...
INTO THE COURTS
Wolff then contested the election results, claiming overt voter fraud from the Fluker administration and two organizations the incumbent mayor sat on boards of – the state NAACP and the Alabama Democratic Committee.
The case took months, but on Aug. 24, 2009 a specially-appointed judge found that after throwing out numerous illegal votes, Wolff had won the election by a five-vote margin – 1,002 votes to 997 as the original results had shown.
It was then that the case became even more contentious. Fluker, who was refusing to give up the mayor’s chair, convinced the City Council to appeal part of the judge’s ruling. The judge, retired Mobile County Circuit Judge Edward McDermott, found copious irregularities in the city’s voter database and required that Evergreen begin using the official voter database from the Alabama Secretary of State for future elections. City attorney Terry Davis, a relative of Fluker, convinced the city council to appeal that ruling and thus preserve the city’s voter list despite the irregularities – 55 votes had been thrown out out of 2,054 votes cast, an abnormally-high 2.7 percent “margin of fraud.”
Fluker also filed an appeal, which was ultimately denied by the Alabama Supreme Court in March 2010. He didn’t surrender the mayor’s office until April 2010, more than a year after losing the election.
After such a divisive election, Wolff sought to repair the damage to the citizens’ trust by instituting reforms to Evergreen’s election processes. Specifically, he proposed…
- Adherence to the Secretary of State voting procedure and equally strict adherence to the State Code and Federal voting rights laws;
- Creating as accurate a primary voting list as possible, which includes legitimate residents who are registered to vote within the city and are still alive;
- Validating absentee voting applications before absentee forms are sent out;
- Requiring everyone who is registered to vote to have a factual address or claim of physical domicile, which would eliminate some of the fraudulent addresses uncovered by the court case;
- Making sure that voting law and procedure is adhered to within the voting places so that voters are not written into the list at the last minute or could vote more than once using different names or at different voting places or on others’ behalf. In addition, Wolff sought to address allegations of electioneering at voting precincts and voter intimidation.
The City Council adopted those measures, in a spirit of alleviating the racial division infecting the city. It was felt that if rules everyone agreed on were strictly adhered to, there would be no further reasons for hard feelings or any question in the outcome of an election...
THE FIGHT CONTINUES (and gets really interesting)
The new election rules were immediately challenged by Fluker’s friends at the NAACP and the Alabama Democratic Committee. One side of the effort was to insist that the City create four black voting districts through reapportionment. The second effort was to insist that the NAACP and ADC create the voting list for the elections.
Yes, we will say that again.
The NAACP and the Alabama Democratic Committee insist that the City create four black voting districts through reapportionment and insist that the NAACP and ADC create the voting list for the elections.
The City Council denied the request for the creation of four black districts and maintained the stance of two black, two white and one swing district. The NAACP and ADC filed a request with the Department of Justice to deny pre-clearance on the voting plan.
When the City Clerk began to prepare the voting list, Fluker again insisted in person at City Hall that the NAACP and ADC prepare the voting list. The City Clerk refused and the NAACP has apparently petitioned the DOJ on that issue as well. Here comes the lawsuit.
To date, Evergreen has not received pre-clearance on its legally adopted and council approved voting plan, which by statute meets all the requisites under the verbatim definition of the law. Also, the Justice Department has made calls to various officials in the City and the State to pressure the City to question its efforts on a fair and honest election.
Evergreen continues to receive large numbers of clearly-fraudulent absentee ballot applications in the mail, which increase in volume as the election draws near. Also of note, the Conecuh County Board of Registrar’s office sends over hundreds of new “voting registrations” on a weekly basis, many of which are simply fictitious names associated with fictitious addresses.
Efforts were made in writing to the Secretary of State’s office and the Attorney General’s office to have poll watchers and voting procedure assistance in the spring of 2012. The responses received were generic assurances of the Director’s support for Evergreen to have a fair election, but no resources or help have been offered thus far.
You might ask why this small town in south Alabama matters so much to the NAACP and the Department of Justice. As fate would have it, this small town is positioned right slap in the middle and serves as a 'hub' for what's refereed to commonly as the "Black Belt"; Where a large percentage of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus and progressive Democrats are elected from. If you control Evergreen one could assume you could keep those votes in tact.
The 2012 mayor’s election looms in October in Evergreen, and tensions are high as a rematch between two bitter competitors could be tainted by what looks like yet another credible threat of more voter fraud form our friends at the U.S. Department of Justice, the NAACP and now the Alabama Democratic Committee.
I love how the Marxists stick together. They always show up and do whatever they can to drag this country further into oblivion. Every time I turn around they have their noses stuck somewhere in politics and the right comes back like a horse that had been beaten to death. It makes me angry to know that this is what we are against and many still sit back and rather be dormant versus stand up to them. It’s exactly why Obama was elected and it’s exactly why I wonder what is in store for us this coming year.
Last night I was reading in “Mein Kampf” about alliances and it makes me wonder if we ourselves are on the brink WWIII. Even though I hate war, I think that’s what it will take for this country to really wake up and see what’s going on.
The government can protect people like the Black Panthers however people like us, who actually want to save this country are hated. They call us racist, but yet we don’t speak about killing the other races as they do us. Well, I know I’ve ranted enough, but this post is another fine example of what we are up against here in America. Are you angry yet White Man!?!?