BESSEMER, Ala. (CN) – Alabama’s 1901 state constitution is invalid because it was approved by voter fraud that disenfranchised black citizens, a class action claims in Federal Court. Plaintiffs cite an affidavit from state historian Wayne Flynt testifying to the fraud.
They want the 1901 constitution declared invalid, and a new election held on it, or a new constitution written.
The constitution was approved by an official vote of 108,613 Yes votes to 81,634 Nos, the complaint states. But plaintiffs say 12 “Black Belt Counties,” with black populations of more than 66%, voted against the constitution by 36,224 to 5,471. “
“The invalid constitution was designed to disenfranchise voters of Alabama who are black. John B. Knox, the president of the invalid Constitutional Convention, stated: ‘And what is that that we want to do? Why it is within the limits imposed by the federal Constitution, to establish white supremacy in this state.’ Likewise, convention delegate Frank White stated: ‘We have disenfranchised the African in the past by doubtful methods, but in the future we will disenfranchise him by law.’ This disenfranchisement was accomplished by the $1.50 per year poll tax and by requiring property ownership to vote, in the invalid Constitution.”
Plaintiffs want the 1901 constitution declared invalid, and a new election held on it, or a new constitution written. They are represented by Edgar Gentle III.