Alabama Official to Ingraham: Election Could Be Delayed
Secretary of State John Merrill says on 'The Ingraham Angle' it's too late to change the ballot for the December 12 vote
Republican Roy Moore has stood for election in Alabama eight times, but the allegations of child sexual abuse against him have only been made one month before a special Senate election — and that’s odd, said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, speaking Friday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
Host Laura Ingraham pressed Merrill on a possible move for the December 12 special election, which Gov. Kay Ivey may have authority to do.
Moving the special election for the Senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a likely possibility, Merrill conceded, but state authorities are looking at whether they can do so within the law's standards.
Under Alabama law, once there are fewer than 76 days left before an election, the statewide ballot cannot be changed. Putting the special election beyond that window would mean Moore could step off the ballot and be replaced.
Moore fell into political trouble on Thursday when The Washington Post reported that an Alabama woman, Leigh Corfman, said she was molested by Moore in 1979, when Corfman was 14 years old.
"I am very surprised that this information has just been introduced," said Merrill, who said he has known Moore for years. "I think that's the most interesting part of it ... He's been a public figure for more than 30 years in the state of Alabama. It's very difficult for a lot of people in our state to believe ... that this type of information is only now being introduced ... Of course, these charges are very serious."
"I think he's pretty much a lock as long as he denies what happened ... I think he's going to be in the U.S. Senate."
In another segment of the show, media critic James Warren of the Poynter Institute said that despite the damaging headlines, Moore is likely to win.
"The question is, who would defeat him?" asked Warren. "I see him in the United States Senate if this is all that we know ... Given the politics of that state, I think he's pretty much a lock as long as he denies what happened ... I think he's going to be in the U.S. Senate."