Republicans worried Democrats will cross over in runoff

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama Republicans are worried about Democrats crossing over to vote in their runoff.  

"We ought to look at that rule," Douglas Gilbert, Chairman of the Jefferson Co. Republican Party said Monday. "We will have a state executive meeting on June 26th, here in Birmingham. We will look at that rule."

Alabama Democrats have a rule barring crossover voting, but state Republicans do not. But, there are problems implementing such a rule. The party will need pre-clearance from the U.S. Justice Department and it is difficult to enforce.

Still party official say they need to stop crossovers.

"There is no party registration in Alabama, so people can walk into the polling place and choose one party or the other party," Douglas said.

In 1986, Alabama Democrats threw out crossover votes in the governor's race. This caused a voter backlash which helped establish the Republican party a major player in the state.

"I think they should have a long debate about crossover voting," Robert Yarbrough, Chairman of the Jefferson Co. Republican Party said. "They need to drag it out over the summer, do something the Democrats did in 1986."

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