Ballot error costs Alabama over $450K

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Nearly 3 million of Alabama’s November general election ballots had to be reprinted after an error was discovered back in September.

Just weeks before voters hit the polls, Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill‘s office was notified Monday that an omission was discovered regarding Statewide Amendment 2 — the first two paragraphs of the amendment were left off the state’s absentee ballots.

On Friday, Merrill’s office finally announced the price-tag of the error: $459,690.80.

The original ballot left off language intended to prevent lawmakers from diverting money generated by Alabama’s state parks for other government purposes. The amendment also allowed the state park system to hire more private entities to operate hotels and amenities within the parks.

The amendment was approved last month.

Merrill sent a letter to the state comptroller requesting that all costs associated with this printing be covered by the State of Alabama to place no additional, undue burden on the counties.

The employee that was assigned this task no longer works for the Secretary of State’s Office