Category: 2020 election

Polling Place Changes Prompt Jefferson County to Send Out New, More Colorful Cards

Barry Stephenson frequently has attended meetings of the Jefferson County Commission this year as polling places have said, ‘Thanks; no thanks’ to hosting elections during a pandemic.

The county registrar stood before commissioners during their committee meeting Tuesday, again announcing a change in a polling place.

“I hope this is the last one I bring before you,” he said. “It’s been interesting. We’ve been told to leave over the summer, and we found replacements.” Read more.

Absentee Ballot Season Gets Underway

Absentee ballots started showing up in county offices and going out in the mail Wednesday, which was the deadline for absentee election managers to be provided with absentee ballots and supplies.

Usually, Alabama voters must fit into narrowly defined categories to be able to vote by absentee. But for the general election, Secretary of State John Merrill has approved absentee voting for any voter who has concerns about the coronavirus. Read more about voting in the general election and voting by absentee.

Jones Starts Last Leg of Campaign With Almost 16 Times as Much Money as Tuberville

Freshman Democrat Doug Jones, widely regarded as the most vulnerable member of the U.S. Senate in the November general election, heads into the race against Republican Tommy Tuberville with a huge cash advantage, according to reports the candidates filed Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission.

In reports for the second quarter of this year, Jones showed a campaign balance of $8.78 million while Tuberville, who defeated former Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday for the GOP nomination, listed his cash on hand at $551,285. Read more.

Tuberville Beats out Sessions for GOP Nomination to the US Senate

Former Auburn University head coach Tommy Tuberville handily defeated former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate seat Tuesday night in an election heavily influenced by the candidates’ relationships to President Donald Trump.

According to unofficial results reported by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, Tuberville defeated Sessions 60.74% to 39.26%. Tuberville will face Democrat Doug Jones in the Nov. 3 general election.

Voting in the party primary runoffs was higher than expected. Almost 17.4% of voters statewide cast ballots in the election, which is more than those who voted in the 2014 and 2016 primary runoffs.

In Jefferson County, 15.34% of voters cast ballots. About 71% of those ballots were cast in the Republican primary and about 29% in the Democratic, according to unofficial results reported by the county Board of Registrars office.

Political prognosticators see the defeat as the end of Sessions’ decades-long political career, which started in 1981 with his appointment by President Ronald Reagan as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, a title he held for 12 years. Read more.

See results from other races on Tuesday’s ballot.

Voters Go to Polls Today for Republican, Democratic Runoffs

Voting at polls in Alabama has been relatively slow so far today. Secretary of State John Merrill downgraded his predicted turnout to 10% to 15%, which is slightly low for party runoffs but now extremely so, saying today’s voting is experiencing a “market downturn.”

In Jefferson County, Probate Judge Sherri Friday said 10% of all registered voters, or 51,235 people, had voted as of 4 p.m.

“That’s pretty good,” she said. “We have had no problems, and everything has been running fine. It’s been a boring day.”

Only two races are on the statewide Republican ballot, and no statewide races are on the Democratic ballot. Additionally, concern about going into public spaces remains because of rising COVID-19 cases in Alabama.

The race drawing the most attention is the battle between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate seat. Also on the Republican ballot statewide is the runoff for a state Criminal Court of Appeals judgeship. Some other areas of the state have runoffs for seats in the U.S. House, but not in the Birmingham area. Jefferson County has one local runoff, for Jefferson County Treasurer, which is on the Democratic ballot. There are no Democratic runoffs in Shelby County and no local Republican races. Basic information about navigating the polls today includes:

—Polls close at 7 p.m.

—No crossover voting allowed. If you voted in the primary election March 3, you may vote only in the same party’s runoff. If you didn’t vote in March, you can vote in either runoff.

—Poll workers are wearing masks and gloves and polling places are equipped with disinfectant wipes and spray and hand sanitizer. Voters are asked to wear masks, but poll workers cannot require voters to wear masks.

See more information from BirminghamWatch’s 2020 Primary Runoff Voter Guide:

Sessions-Tuberville Showdown Tops Tuesday’s GOP Runoff

What’s on the Ballot?

Candidate Profiles

Voters’ Runoff Toolbox

Sessions-Tuberville Showdown Tops Tuesday’s GOP Runoff

Jeff Sessions kicked off a weeklong tour of Alabama last week with a visit to a farmer’s market in Pike Road, a small town 14 miles outside Montgomery. The event marked the beginning of a final campaign push for Sessions, who is locked in a heated battle to regain the U.S. Senate seat he held from 1997 to 2017.

The campaign has been an uphill battle for Sessions, to put it lightly. Polls have consistently shown him trailing his opponent, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, by as many as 20 points. Now, with the July 14 Republican runoff election just days away, Sessions is making his closing argument: that his opponent is “weak.”

Tuberville is touting his endorsement by President Donald Trump, saying he stands with the president to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Read more.

Voter Guide
BirminghamWatch has gathered information you’ll need before heading to the polls or filling out that absentee ballot. Inside you’ll find:

2020 Primary Runoff Voter Guide: Your Source of Information for the July 14 Election

What’s on the Ballot?

Candidate Profiles

Voters’ Runoff Toolbox