Congressional candidate calls for election changes due to coronavirus

Alabama News

Kiani Gardner says senior voters may stay home

News 5/Strategy Poll shows Kiani Gardner leading the Lower Alabama congressional race

Due to cornoavirus concerns, Democrat Kiani Gardner, a candidate for congress, is calling for changes in how people are allowed to vote in the upcoming run off election

“Data indicates that the population of people aged 65 and up are at particular risk for severe COVID-19 infection,” Gardener said. “We also know that this is a population that is highly likely to vote. Because Alabama has strict absentee ballot requirements and no options for early voting or vote-by-mail, we are forcing citizens to choose between proactively protecting their health or exercising their right to vote. What’s more, many of our poll workers fall into the same vulnerable category, and many polling places are community or senior centers that service those most at risk for COVID-19.”

Gardner is criticizing Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill for not allowing any chances to normal voting procedures.

“By refusing to make sensible adjustments to our Election Day protocol, Mr. Merrill is indicating a callous willingness to continue to disenfranchise Alabamians or put their health and wellbeing at risk. I call on Mr. Merrill, in conjunction with Governor Ivey and the Alabama State Legislature, to relax the restrictions on absentee ballot access to allow any Alabamian who so chooses to vote absentee in this runoff election.”

Gardner, a college biology professor, faces retired U.S. Marine James Averhart in the run off. Jerry Carl and Bill Hightower meet on the Republican side.

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