Wes Allen knows Alabama elections and vital documents and wants to bring that experience to the office of Alabama Secretary of State.
The Tuscaloosa native and Pike County resident believes his political experience makes him uniquely qualified for the office.
“I’m the only candidate in this race that has the experience of probate judge,” Allen said. “No other candidate in this race has been chief elections official. I can run that office when I step in there on day one.”
Allen was appointed probate judge in Pike County in 2009 by then Governor Bob Riley. In 2012 he was elected to the office. With nine years as probate judge, Allen has helped oversee elections in and around Troy.
“I know what it’s like to be at the courthouse at 5:30 a.m. on election day, get the day going, travel to precincts, get poll workers what they need,” Allen said. “I have appointed poll workers and trained poll workers. I have worked alongside the circuit clerk, the sheriff and the board of registrars. I have done it all from start to finish.”
As secretary of state, Allen said if issues arise during future elections he wouldn’t be lost.
“When your probate judge calls me up and says we got a little issue with this or that, it will not be foregin to me about what they are talking about,” Allen said. “There won’t be any on the job training. I can start day one.”
Allen said the business services division of the secretary of state’s office is much like the daily functions of probate judge. Allen said his experiences as the Pike County Probate Judge are useful in this division of the state office.
“Every vital document is recorded in the probate office,” Allen said. “One thing we were able to do and I can bring this experience is that we went back and scanned all of our vital documents in Pike County at no extra cost to the taxpayer. We made that available online. You could go look for free.”
Allen said this allowed title researchers and attorneys to more easily search important deeds and mortgages for the sale of real estate.
“You have to have good records,” Allen said. “You have to turn it around in a timely manner because if you are starting a new LLC, time is money. We want to make sure it's turned around quickly so people can go to work.”
Allen said he is “proud to protect Alabama’s election process. Allen said as a member of Alabama’s House of Representatives voted to make sure there were no drop boxes for voting, no mass mailing of ballots and no internet connection to the ballot machines.
“We will always have paper ballots if I’m the next secretary of state,” Allen said.
Allen said there is still one measure he would like to see get through the Alabama legislature to further secure Alabama’s elections.
“It’s a bill to prohibit ballot harvesting,” Allen said. “That way no one can get paid to help someone that is not their immediate family fill out an application or the ballot. It still allows anybody to help anybody, but they can’t get compensated by some outside group.”
Allen faces Jim Ziegler in the June 21 Republican runoff for secretary of state.