Recount ordered on Amendment 2 issue

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 26, 2004

Butler County election officials will conduct a recount of general election ballots for Amendment 2 on Monday, Probate Judge Steve Norman has announced.

The election results from Nov. 2 show the measure, which would repeal some Jim Crow passages from the Alabama Constitution, trailing statewide by a margin slim enough to require that the ballots be tallied again.

The proposed amendment would have stripped Jim Crow language from the state’s 1901 constitution.

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The referendum failed 1,850, which is a less than one percent margin.

When Secretary of State Nancy Worley, Gov. Bob Riley and Attorney General Troy King met on Wednesday to certify the results, it was decided to use the new law.

Since the proposed amendment was defeated by only a 0.13 percent margin.

The less than one percent margin triggers the first use of a new recount law.

Norman said he will use three poll machines for the recount in the courthouse annex.

&uot;Two poll workers will be stationed at each machine and will reefed every ballot into the machines,&uot; he said. &uot;Because of the new law, the election is not official until the governor, secretary of state and attorney general certify the results and they have not certified them.&uot; This is not official because the governor nor secretary of state have not certified it.&uot;

The importance of the amendment is significant because it would removed language from the constitution that mandated segregated public schools and that poll taxes would be used to fund them.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the provisions long ago, but the language was never removed.

The campaign against the amendment spread the idea that stripping the language could lead to tax increases.

It would have killed a 1956 provision in the constitution that was added after the high court ruled segregate school illegal.

Opponents believe a judge could use the wording to order tax increases.

So on Monday, it will be determined if the racist language stays or goes.

Locally, the recount begins at 9 a.m.