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No crowds for Alabama’s primary election

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Lines were not a problem for Alabama’s primary election Tuesday, but complaints were in some counties.

Election officials from the Tennessee Valley to the Florida line described the turnout as light or moderate. Madison County Probate Judge Tommy Ragland was typical when it described it as a routine election with no lines or major equipment problems.

The state’s chief elections official, Secretary of State Beth Chapman, said she received some complaints. They included a few people in Dallas County being unable to vote because someone had already cast absentee ballots in their names, and a complaint that someone in Bullock County was offering $10 to people willing to vote for a judicial candidate.

Joe Reed, chairman of the black Alabama Democratic Conference, filed a complaint with the Justice Department saying an upstart group calling itself the Alabama Democratic Committee was handing out yellow marked ballots at polling places in the 5th Congressional District of north Alabama that were designed to resemble the yellow ballots distributed by his 50-year-old group.

Reed’s group endorsed Democrats Ron Sparks for governor and Steve Raby for the 5th Congressional District, but the other group’s ballots backed Artur Davis for governor and Taze Shepard for Congress.

“There is some widespread fraud in north Alabama to divide and dilute the black vote,” Reed said.