Category: 2020 election

Absentee Ballots Hit Jefferson County Like a “Monsoon,” Clerk Says

Alabama set a high for absentee ballots in 2012, when 89,000 were successfully cast.

But Secretary of State John Merrill said the state is on pace to surpass that number.

“For the Nov. 3 general election, we’ve actually had more than 125,000 ballot applications that have been submitted to us and more than 50,000 that have been successfully returned already,” he said.

“As you can see,” Merrill said, “we’re going to shatter that record.”

But the secretary of state said election officials in the state’s 67 counties aren’t worried because they’re ready.

“We’ve already made preparations for this, hiring additional people, enabling more than what we would perceive the necessary number of tabulators to be available on election day to process the ballots,” he said. Read more.

Absentee Count Can Start Election Morning, Judge Allows Curbside Voting and Waives ID Requirements for Absentees

The governor and a federal court made changes Wednesday that could affect the election process on Nov. 3.

The governor issued an order allowing election officials to begin counting absentee ballots at the same time the polls open, at 7 a.m. on election day. Secretary of State John Merrill welcomed the move to ease the counting of an unusually large number of absentee ballots.

The state was not as welcoming of another development on the voting front. A federal court judge also Wednesday issued a ruling that lightens absentee voting requirements for older and infirm Alabamians and allows counties to offer curbside voting if they chose to do so.

Attorney general Steve Marshall said he would appeal that ruling. Read more.

It’s Oct. 1, Do You Know Where Your Absentee Ballot Is?
You can see where your absentee ballot is in the process, as well as finding your polling place and registration status.

For more absentee ballot information, read BirminghamWatch’s earlier story: Absentee Ballot Season Gets Underway

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.