Category: 2018 Elections

Ainsworth Holds Comfortable Fundraising Lead over Boyd in Lt Gov.’s Race

Republican Will Ainsworth continues to hold a lopsided lead over Democrat Will Boyd in fundraising for the lieutenant governor’s race, according to reports filed Monday with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

Ainsworth, a member of the Alabama House of Representatives from Marshall County, reported raising $84,850 in itemized cash contributions from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19. He spent $113,764 during that period and has a cash balance of $353,100.

Boyd, a Florence minister, reported $660 in contributions during the period. He spent $1,182 and has an account balance of $5,335. Read more.

Ivey Widens Fundraising Gap Against Maddox in Governor’s Race

With the election two weeks away, Gov. Kay Ivey continues to widen her financial advantage over Democratic challenger Walt Maddox, according to reports filed Monday with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

Ivey, a Republican seeking her first full term as governor, reported raising $193,291 in itemized cash contributions from Oct. 13 to Oct. 19. Maddox, the mayor of Tuscaloosa, reported contributions of $104,878.

The governor has raised $4.34 million since the current election cycle began last year. Maddox has collected $2.03 million. Read more.

See the List of Contributors at the One Month Mark.

As Alabama Goes to the Polls, Worries Emerge That Some Are Denied Voting Rights

Reminder: Oct. 22 is the deadline to register to vote.

Since last year, Lorenzo French said, he’s helped about 50 people in rural Greene County regain their ability to vote.

Many of them were improperly removed from voter rolls because they had a felony conviction, though not the type that should have banned them from voting, French said. Others didn’t have photo identification, a requirement to vote in Alabama since 2014.

“That’s my job,” French, chair of the Greene County Democrats, said. “To find the people who can’t vote, find out why they can’t and reestablish them.”

More Alabamians are registered to vote than ever before and more ballots were cast in this year’s gubernatorial primaries than in 2010 contests, but some pockets of the state have seen decreases, including Greene County and 10 others where there are now fewer black registered voters.

That is because of changes in population, not policy, the state’s top election official said.

Lecia Brooks, outreach director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said she also is concerned about technicalities keeping Alabamians from voting. Maybe their polling place changed or they’ve been placed on an inactive voter list.

“They’re registered, they’re ready to vote and they show up on election day and they’re sent away,” she said.

Changes — including the ID law, a decrease in polling places and purging of voter rolls — have been allowed without federal review since 2013, when in Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a portion of the federal voting rights law that required changes in voting procedures in some states and local governments to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“All of these things would have had to be approved or given greater scrutiny,” Brooks said. Read more.

Read more election-related coverage:

Are You Ready to Vote?

Ivey Still Leads Maddox in Fundraising; See Contributions in Other Statewide Races

“It’s Just Plum Sad:” Ivey Disputes Reports of Health Issues, Chastises Maddox Campaign

The Year of Firsts: Freshman Candidates Find the Campaign Trail Grueling, Expensive and Rewarding

The Year of Firsts: Freshman Candidates Find the Campaign Trail Grueling, Expensive and Rewarding

Just before the deadline closed, Cara McClure and Kari Powell submitted the paperwork to run for the Public Service Commission. They didn’t know one another beforehand, but they ended up on a phone call just after the midnight deadline talking about their similar platforms and how, despite having never run for political office, they would each need to hit the ground running.

Then the idea came to them: why not run as if they were on the same ticket? Doing so would let them pool resources and cover more ground as they canvassed throughout the state. The women decided that using an innovative approach to campaigning was the best way for them to go up against their seasoned opponents.

McClure and Powell are just two of many people who entered the political fray for the first time this year and had to grapple with the question of how to campaign with little or no name recognition. The surge in first-time candidates is a national trend reflected in Alabama. Women, particularly black women, across the country qualified to run in record numbers this year. In Alabama, the Democratic Party had more people qualify to run for office in races up and down the ticket, with half again as many candidates signing on to run for seats in the Legislature than did in 2014, possibly inspired by Doug Jones’ victory in his race for the U.S. Senate in December. The Republican Party also had a bump in people wanting to run for office this year, perhaps in a desire to stave off the threat of a Democratic resurgence.

Several first-time candidates interviewed by BirminghamWatch said the experience has shown them that campaigning is grueling, time-consuming work. Often lacking active party support, many of the first-timers turned to grassroots efforts to get out their messages. Universal among these first-timers was a confidence that they can make an impact using innovative approaches to reach voters despite financial challenges. Read more.

“It’s Just Plum Sad:” Ivey Disputes Reports of Health Issues, Chastises Maddox Campaign

TUSCALOOSA — Gov. Kay Ivey is again disputing that her health is an issue in her re-election campaign and called out her Democratic challenger for trying to make it one.

Ivey released a statement from her doctor Tuesday that confirmed she did not suffer what some have characterized as a mini-stroke in 2015, while she was traveling to Colorado Springs, Colorado, as lieutenant governor. Dr. Brian Elrod said he examined her a day after she was discharged from a hospital.

Ivey said she suffered “altitude illness” in Colorado, but she said her health is fine now.

“The letter I released today from my doctor clearly confirms what I’ve been saying all along. I’m in good health,” Ivey, 74, said before her speech to the Tuscaloosa County Republicans at their Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, held at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “It’s just plum sad that Mayor (Walt) Maddox’s campaign is pushing this issue out just three weeks away from the election. It makes me have to assume that Mayor Maddox is desperate because his liberal record is not connecting with Alabamians.” Read more.

Vance Outpaces Parker in Attempt to Put a Democrat in the Chief Justice Seat

Robert Vance, the only Democratic statewide candidate to raise more money than a Republican opponent in this year’s general election, far out-distanced GOP nominee Tom Parker in collections and expenditures in early October.

Vance listed itemized cash contributions of $140,985 for the period of Oct. 1-12, bringing his total for the campaign to $963,948, according to reports filed Monday with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office. He has spent $831,027, including $570,888 so far in October, and reported an account balance of $132,920.

Parker reported contributions of $1,050 and expenditures of $63,589 for the period. Since the election cycle began last year, Parker has raised $592,927 and spent $500,134, mostly toward winning the GOP primary earlier this year. He has an account balance of $119,425. Read more.

Siegelman Tops Marshall in October Fundraising, but Marshall’s Ahead in Campaign Spending for the AG Race

Democratic challenger Joseph Siegelman has raised more in campaign contributions than Republican incumbent Steve Marshall so far in October, according to reports filed Monday with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

Siegelman, son of former Gov. Don Siegelman, reported that he took in contributions of $101,474 during the first 12 days of October. Marshall, bidding for his first full term as attorney general, reported contributions of $56,000.

But Marshall far out-spent Siegelman during the period. The GOP nominee spent $106,316 to Siegelman’s $22,924. Read more.

Ivey’s Campaign Still Leads Maddox in Contributions With Three Weeks to Go in the Campaign

Gov. Kay Ivey continued to build her campaign warchest in early October, raising almost twice as much as Democratic challenger Walt Maddox, according to reports filed Monday with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

Ivey, the Republican who is seeking her first full term as governor, reported itemized cash contributions of $194,133 from Oct. 1 to Oct. 12. Maddox raised $102,024 for the same period.

That gave Ivey a total of $4.15 million in contributions since the campaign began last year, compared to $1.93 million for Maddox, who is mayor of Tuscaloosa. Read more.

Read more stories about campaign financing in this year’s election.

Vance Outpaces Parker in Attempt to Put a Democrat in the Chief Justice Seat

Ainsworth Stretches out Campaign Funding Lead in Lt Gov Race

Siegelman Tops Marshall in October Fundraising, but Marshall’s Ahead in Campaign Spending for the AG Race

Are You Ready to Vote?

After nearly a year of campaigns, the general election is right around the corner. Polls will be open Nov. 6 for voters to choose people to represent them from the statehouse to the courthouse.

Up for grabs is the governor’s office, legislative seats, judicial positions and county offices, to name a few.

If you want to vote in these races, important deadlines are looming:

Oct. 22 is the deadline to register to vote.
Nov. 1 is the last day to apply to vote by absentee ballot.
Nov. 5 is the last day to deliver or postmark an absentee ballot.
Nov. 6 is election day. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the state.

If you need to register to vote, you can apply online through the Secretary of State’s Office or print an application to be mailed to your county Board of Registrars. You also may call 800-274-8683 to have an application mailed to you or apply in person through your Board of Registrars.

If you’re in doubt about whether you’re registered to vote, you can check your status through another SOS web page or call your county’s Board of Registrars. In Jefferson County, the board’s office is in the courthouse downtown and can be reached at 325-5550.