Janet Haines, lead poll official at Hoover Fire Station No. 8, said the ballots are in a locked portion of the machine and will be counted later. The machine malfunction caused a bit of a line at first, but it dissipated quickly, Haines said. The polling place now is using its one working box. This tip came originally from Electionland, a ProPublica project that will cover access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.”
Let’s Try This Again: JefCoEd Superintendent Craig Pouncey Applies Once More for State Superintendent Job
Dr. Craig Pouncey does not easily take “no” for an answer.
The superintendent of the Jefferson County Schools has again applied for the vacant position of state superintendent, barely a year and a half after narrowly losing an election to the job by the Alabama State Board of Education. During that process, he become the subject of a smear campaign he contends involved a board member and a lawyer on the department’s staff. Read more.
Facebook CEO Says Company Thwarted Foreign Bid to Target Alabama Senate Race, Expert Warns of Ongoing Efforts (WHNT)
Study: ‘Legacy’ Nitrogen Also Feeds Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone (Associated Press)
Birmingham Sinks Toward Bottom of New Metropolitan Growth Rankings (Birmingham Business Journal)
Alabama House Rejects Bill to Track Race in Traffic Stops (Associated Press)
House Approves Money for School Security Measures (Associated Press)
Alabama 3rd State to Allow Execution by Nitrogen Gas (Associated Press)
Alabama Voters to Decide on School Ten Commandments Displays (AL.com)
Gov. Kay Ivey has amassed a campaign war chest almost equal to that of her three opponents combined as the campaign for the Republican gubernatorial primary enters its final three months.
On the Democratic side, former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb has a slight fundraising advantage over her chief opponent, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.
Read more and see lists of contributors to each candidate.
Issues That Matter
The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama has launched Alabama Priorities, an initiative to identify and address the most important issues to Alabama voters.
PARCA surveyed voters, asking them to rank issues affecting the state this year. The council intends to publish a series of policy briefs on each of the top 10 issues, according to a PARCA statement. See the top 10 issues selected here.
NewsMatch 2017 raised more than $4.8 million from individual donors and a coalition of foundations to support more than 100 local and investigative nonprofit news organizations, including Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism, which publishes BirminghamWatch.
According to a report from the Institute for Nonprofit News, this makes NewsMatch 2017 the largest-ever grassroots fundraising campaign to support local nonprofit and investigative news.
More than 80 individual donors supported AIIJ/BirminghamWatch during the October-December campaign, the highest number in the organization’s two-year history. These local contributors gave more than $20,000 that is being matched by national foundations to support the organization’s mission of public service journalism on the environment, education, the economy and government for Birmingham and Alabama. Read more.
The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama has found that Alabama high schools are sending more graduates out into the world and they are sending more students to college, but some of those students are taking a little bit of time out in the world before they head to campus.
In 2016, 63 percent of high school graduates enrolled in college in the year after they graduated from high school, according to PARCA. In 2014, that portion was 65 percent
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Alabama’s roads and bridges are in relatively good condition compared to other Southeastern states.
More of the state’s roads are in good condition compared to other states, fewer are in poor condition, and the percentage of its bridges that are deficient and need to be replaced is about average for the Southeast, according to the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.
But in its “How Alabama Roads Compare” report, PARCA found that the state has devoted an increasingly large share of its budget to preserving existing roads, and it has a shrinking pool of money available for new projects. In fact, in recent years Alabama has borrowed more than $1.3 billion, but the authority to borrow has been exhausted. In 2018, Alabama will have about $250 million less to spend on roads than it had in 2017 because of the loss of money to borrow and an increase in the state’s debt service.
PARCA in its report notes that Alabama has not raised its 18-cents per gallon motor fuels tax in 25 years. Meanwhile, improved fuel economy of cars and trucks means less gas is being bought in Alabama, and so the tax revenues have dropped.
Read the full report here.
Electionland Wins Online Journalism Award
ProPublica and the Electionland coalition won an Online Journalism Award for planned news/events, announced at the Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet on Saturday.
A collaboration with a coalition of organizations, Electionland tracked voter experiences in the November 2016 election in real time, across thousands of polling sites.
BirminghamWatch participated in the project, monitoring and reporting on local polling places. Read more.
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