In the wake of years-old allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, Republicans are considering postponing the Dec. 12 special election until next year as a way to get Moore’s name off the ballot, according to a new report by The New York Times.
Based on Alabama law, it’s too late to remove Moore’s name from the ballot this close to Election Day. Now, party members are reportedly considering getting Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) to move the date election to early next year.
Ivey previously changed the date of Alabama’s special election, moving it up nearly a year earlier after then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned amid a sex scandal.
But it’s still unclear if the governor has the power to move the special election about a month before voters are set to head to the polls in a race pitting Moore against Democrat Doug Jones.
According to the Times, Ivey hasn’t ruled out moving the date again and indicated that she wants support from the White House first.
Moore, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, is facing wide backlash over allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct involving a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he was 32 years old.
Moore has vehemently denied the allegations, saying on Sean Hannity’s radio show Friday that they’re “completely false and misleading.” Moore also said he’s not withdrawing his name from the race.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) said that he does not know whether the governor would have the power to change the date and voiced the unlikelihood of it given that some people have already cast a ballot.
“It’s almost like saying: Let’s play a football game with four quarters, but after the third quarter, let’s suspend,” Merrill told The Hill on Friday.
“I think the scenario you are introducing for me to comment on is highly improbable for this reason: we have people who have already voted in this election. Military servicemen and women have voted, absentee voters have already voted. There are hundreds of people who have expressed their preference on the race.”
Merrill added that he found the idea “unusual.”