Over 2.7 million Alabama election ballots headed for a reprint due to error

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Ballots for next month’s election are being reprinted because of an error, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill‘s office confirmed Thursday.

Just weeks before voters will hit the polls, the secretary of state’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.

The amendment is regarding the allocation of state park funds, and should read:

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to prohibit any monies from the State Parks Fund, the Parks Revolving Fund, or any fund receiving revenues currently deposited in the State Parks Fund or the Parks Revolving Fund, and any monies currently designated pursuant to statute for the use of the state parks system from being transferred for another purpose other than the support, upkeep, and maintenance of the state parks system.

Notwithstanding, in the event that guest revenues to the State Parks Revolving Fund exceed the threshold of $50 million (as annually adjusted based on increases in the consumer price index) in a fiscal year, the sales and use and cigarette tax revenue distributed to benefit the State Parks System shall be reduced in the following fiscal year. The amount of the reduction shall correspond to the amount of guest revenue to the State Parks Revolving Fund exceeding the threshold. The amount of tax revenue not distributed to benefit the State Parks System shall be distributed to the General Fund.

Proposing an amendment to Amendment 617 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to allow the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources the option to provide for the operation and management, by non-state entities, of hotels, golf courses, and restaurants at any applicable state parks in Alabama.

John Bennett, the deputy chief of staff and communications director for the secretary of state’s office, said after learning of the issue, Merrill re-certified the correct ballot language and ordered the vendor to print more than 2.7 million corrected ballots.

It is unknown how much the oversight will ultimately cost taxpayers.

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