HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Millions of dollars have been spent on and by candidates in the months leading up to the Alabama primary election. Just four days before election day, News 19 has identified an issue in the campaign finance filings of a leading democratic candidate.
Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Yolanda Flowers told News 19 the mistake was a simple matter of missing a step in the submission process.
“We were having issues with the thing,” Flowers said. “We would put it in, but we didn’t know about another step. So, we had to put in all of this again. Here I was spazzing out, up early morning, and we just finished.”
Flowers said she and her team have been working to fix the problem. The process began at about 11:30 Friday morning when the Flowers campaign filed financial disclosures stating back to January.
The Alabama Secretary of State’s office is responsible for keeping track of election reports and managing penalties when candidates miss deadlines or otherwise violate Alabama Fair Campaign Practices.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said, though the reports have now been filed, the Flowers campaign will face consequences.
“Our team will evaluate where the misconduct has occurred,” Merrill said. “They will assign penalties, fines, and fees. This individual will be paying those for some time to come because the accruement of those will be significant.”
Merrill said for the sake of accountability and transparency voters should always have access to campaign disclosures.
“If you don’t file appropriately, then people who are evaluating the candidacies of these individuals will not be comparing apples and apples,” Merrill said. “They’ll be comparing apples and oranges, so it’s very important we keep the public informed about all the transactions that occur.”
According to campaign financial reports filed Friday, the Flowers campaign is reporting total contributions of $26,985.46.