A political firestorm has kicked off in the Alabama special Senate election.
According to a report at the The Washington Post Thursday, a woman says GOP nominee Roy Moore sexually assaulted her in 1979 when she was 14 and he was 32. Two other women told the Post that Moore pursued them decades ago when they were underage.
Moore denied the report, calling it “garbage,” “fake news,” and “intentional defamation.”
Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and others called for Moore to step aside if the allegations are true. “However, we need to know the truth,” Cruz added, “and Judge Moore has the right to respond to these accusations.”
Many readers are wondering what this means for the Alabama race. Moore’s name cannot be removed from the Dec. 12 special election ballot, according to Alabama law. AL.com reporter Christopher Harress quoted this section of the code in his Thursday report:
“Any amendment filed after the 76th day before a primary or a general election shall be accepted by the judge of probate or the Secretary of State but shall not be cause for reprinting of the ballots,” according to the statute.”
The name of a candidate who is the subject of the amendment and who is disqualified by a political party or who has withdrawn as a candidate shall remain on the ballot, not be replaced by the name of another candidate, and the appropriate canvassing board shall not certify any votes for the candidate.”
If the Republican Party chooses to remove Moore as the party’s candidate, any votes he receives would not be certified under the law, according to a report citing John Bennett, deputy chief of staff for the Alabama secretary of state’s office.
Initial reports suggested that current Sen. Luther Strange and Rep. Mo Brooks (Moore’s challengers in the GOP Senate primary) would both be ineligible as write-in candidates in the special election. However according to an Alabama Secretary of State press release, Brooks and Strange would be eligible as write-in candidates.
The only acceptable defense is the truth, and right now, only Roy Moore and his accusers know for sure what that is.
Every American, and especially every Alabama voter, has a moral obligation to trust but verify. We have a duty to put politics aside, scrutinize the facts, hold true to our principles, and as always, seek truth and justice.
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Editors Note: This article has been updated with information regarding the eligibility of write-in candidates from the Alabama Secretary of State office.
Author: Rob Eno Nate Madden and Chris Pandolfo