It’s Back to the Polls Across Alabama. Voters to Decide Party Nominees

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At the Legion Field polling place, a lion snoozes above campaign signs in the Jefferson County Commission race. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. (Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)
At the Legion Field polling place, a lion snoozes above campaign signs in the Jefferson County Commission race. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. (Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)
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BirminghamWatch Election Team

Voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide several races left up in the air after the June primary, including the Republican nominations for lieutenant governor, attorney general and several appellate judgeships, along with Democratic nominations for two Jefferson County Commission seats, the sheriff’s office and several court positions.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. statewide.

County and state election officials are predicting light turnout at the polls.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has predicted turnout statewide of 15 percent to 18 percent, compared to June’s 24 percent turnout. And Jefferson County Board of Registrars Chairman Barry Stephenson said turnout in the county also is expected to be down from June.

He also pointed out that bad weather never helps turnout. Several areas across the state are predicted to have rain periodically during the day with flash flooding possible, but no severe storms are predicted.

Stephenson does not anticipate any major concerns related to crossover voting rules.

A May 2017 law prevents voters from voting in the primary on one party’s ballot, but then crossing over to vote another party’s ballot in a primary runoff. During general elections, voters are free to vote for candidates from either party.

“This will be the second election that the crossover voting has been in effect, said Stephenson, “and it really wasn’t that much of an issue the first time with the special U.S. Senate election. So there might be a handful of instances that pop up, but we’re prepared to handle it.”

Who’s on the Ballot?

BirminghamWatch has prepared a Voter’s Guide to brief you on the elections before you go to the polls. You can find the races and candidates on the ballots, along with links to their profiles, on the Sample Ballot page.

Far fewer races are on the ballots today than were last month. But in some of the races, winning the runoff is tantamount to winning the seat because there is no opposition from the opposite party in November.

On the state level, aside from the attorney general and lieutenant governor’s races, up for grabs are Republican nominations for commissioner of agriculture and industries, an associate justiceship on the Supreme Court and judgeships on the state civil and criminal appeal courts.

There are no Democrats running for the Supreme Court Place 1 seat, either courts of appeal, or the agriculture and industries commissioner’s job. That means that whoever wins the Republican nomination in those races is almost assured of winning the office in November.

There are no Democrats in statewide races in the runoff.

In Jefferson County, there are only the statewide races still undecided on the Republican side.

But there are several local Democratic races on the ballot, including two District Court seats. In one of those races, for the district 9 seat, there are no Republicans running in November

There also are runoffs in the races for the circuit court and sheriff’s seat.

Jefferson County Democratic voters also will be picking nominees for two County Commission seats, in District 1 and 2. Winning those nominations also is tantamount to winning the races, since there is not a Republican running in November.

Some Jefferson County Democrats also will vote in the House District 54 race.

In this edition of the BirminghamWatch Voter Guide, you will find lists of candidates on the ballot and their profiles, which include basic information about each of the candidates such as the top contributors to their campaigns, the main issues they’re citing in their campaigns and links to their web or social media sites.

The toolkit has information about the process of voting and what you’ll need at the polls.

It’s all in one package on BirminghamWatch.

Resources:

Profiles of Candidates in the July 17 Election, by Race

Voters Toolbox for the Runoff

Sample Ballots

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