County commission chair indicted on voter fraud charge
SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The son of Alabama civil rights activists has been indicted on charges of voter fraud, but he called the accusations nothing more than “political theatre.”
Perry County Commission Chairman Albert Turner Jr. has been charged with voting more than once and violating Alabama’s law that prohibits the fraudulent collection and filling of other people’s absentee ballots. The charges were announced Wednesday by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and District Attorney Michael Jackson.
Jackson said Turner is accused of running multiple ballots through a voting machine during the May 2022 Democratic primary election. He is also accused of breaking state law as regards using absentee ballots, Jackson said. Turner was seen with a “stack” of absentee ballot material at the post office, he said.
“He was stuffing the machine with the ballots that he had already filled out for the folks he was supporting. He did that for a good little while, and he had some folks distracting the poll watchers,” Jackson said.
Turner told the The Associated Press that he did know about the charges, but that he did nothing wrong.
“I am not concerned about any charge he has announced and I will not waste any energy on political theatre. It is mighty funny that Little Mike waited until he was leaving office to make his charge, because he knows he can’t prove his case,” Turner wrote in a text message.
Turner’s cousin, Robert H. Turner Jr., defeated Jackson, in the Democratic primary. He takes office later this month. Jackson said the case is being handled by the attorney general’s office to avoid a conflict.
Turner is the son of civil rights activists Albert Turner, Sr. and Evelyn H. Turner. Albert Turner Sr. was Alabama field secretary for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1965, when he helped lead the aborted Selma-to-Montgomery march that became known as “Bloody Sunday” when marchers were beaten by state troopers. He led the mule wagon that carried the body of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at his funeral. The elder Turner died in 2000.