"We acted in good faith that the logo was approved at all levels, and therefore used the new logo for the statewide Democratic Party ballot layout. Today we received a call stating the new logo was not approved at all levels in the Democratic Party. With that being said, we are at a point in the ballot production that we cannot delay the process any further. Therefore the new logo that you submitted will remain on all the Democratic ballots for this election cycle," Woodyard wrote.
Thompson said there could be no delays because state elections officials were up against the deadline to get ballots to the military and other Alabama citizens living overseas.
Davidson said Thursday he and another party employee talked to ES&S about using the new logo, which was designed originally for the party's website. He said the entire staff at the party headquarters was hired after the 2010 elections and did not realize there was a process they were supposed to follow to get the proper approval.
"It's a screw-up," he said.
The new "Alabama Democrats" emblem appeared on the primary ballot and the runoff ballot, but it was not an issue then because voters can't cast a straight ticket vote in those elections.
Thompson said Republican Secretary of State Beth Chapman had no role in the change, and Democratic Party officials didn't contact her with concerns.
Davidson said the party is contacting candidates, county party leaders, and others active in the party to make sure they tell voters to look for "Alabama Democrats" instead of a donkey.
"We are doing the best to educate everybody we can," he said.
The Alabama Republican Party is using its traditional silhouette of an elephant.