UA President Judy Bonner releases statement regarding allegations of voter fraud

(Leigh Garner/CBS42)
(Leigh Garner/CBS42)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT)– On Saturday afternoon University of Alabama President, Dr. Judy Bonner, sent out an email to the entire UA student body and facility addressing allegations of voter fraud by UA students.

In it, she writes that “The University of Alabama does not have the authority to investigate the outcome of a municipal election.”

The allegations stem from the August 27th municipal elections. Two seats in particular have garnered the most attention.

Those two seats are the District 4 Board of Education seat, as well as, the Tuscaloosa Board of Education Chairman race.

In District 4, Tuscaloosa lawyer and former UA SGA president, Cason Kirby, defeated incumbent candidate Kelly Horwitz by 72 votes.

 

In the race for the Tuscaloosa Board of Education Chairman, UA alum Lee Garrison, defeated Denise Hills by 203 votes.

CBS42 was able to obtain the email from a current University of Alabama student. You can read it in its entirety below:

Even though the Aug. 27 municipal elections are over and the City has certified the winners, I have had some questions about the response and reaction of the University administration regarding the allegations of voter fraud by UA students.

As you know, one of the candidates has filed a lawsuit challenging the results.  It’s important to remember that a municipal election is administered by the City of Tuscaloosa and governed by the laws of the city and state.  The University of Alabama does not have the authority to investigate the outcome of a municipal election, including allegations about which students chose to vote in that election, for whom they voted or why they cast the votes they did. As soon as the courts and appropriate state and/or local agencies have completed their investigation and the facts are known, the University will be in a position to take the appropriate action, including an internal investigation if necessary.  No one in the administration condones voter fraud or is turning a blind eye to these allegations. But these allegations have to be investigated first and foremost by the agencies who have the authority and jurisdiction to conduct them.

While I realize that most members of the UA family understand this process, I thought it was a good time to share the following points with all of you.

Voting in a free, open election is a right that people have fought – and died – to protect and expand over the years.  We expect our students – and faculty and staff, for that matter – to protect the integrity of the election process, as well as the privacy of each individual’s vote and the ability of all individuals to vote their conscience.

If any investigation of voter fraud finds that students were involved in inappropriate activities, the individuals involved will be subject to the penalties associated with violating the voting laws of Alabama. In addition, students who are found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action. Until the investigations are complete, we will work with our student leaders, including those in the Greek community, to provide educational opportunities to ensure that our students understand and appreciate their civic responsibilities. In the meantime, it would not be appropriate to comment further until the investigation and court case have been finalized.

Dr. Judy Bonner

Copyright 2013 WIAT-CBS 42

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