2018 Elections

2018 Primary Voter Guide: Are You Ready for the Big Election Day? Here’s Help Checking Races, Candidates.

Most Alabama voters have a lot of decisions to make before going to the polls June 5.

All of the top statewide races are on the ballot and contested, many of them on both the Democratic and Republican sides. All of the seats in the Legislature are up for grabs this year, as are many judgeships and county offices.

The state’s Democratic Party had seemed to be dwindling from a blue dot in a sea of red to something closer to a pin head. But Democrat Doug Jones’ surprise election to the U.S. Senate in December energized the party. Half again as many people signed on this year to run for the Democratic nomination to seats in the Legislature than did in 2014. More Democrats lined up to run for other local races, as well, though the increase wasn’t quite as large as for the Legislature.

Even the Republican Party 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.

The governor’s race, in particular, has drawn a lot of attention. Four Republicans and six Democrats are on the primary ballots trying to capture the seat. In the race for governor so far, 10 candidates have raised more than $10 million for campaigns.

And that’s just one race out of many. In Jefferson and Shelby counties, more than 60 races are contested by about 170 people who want their party’s nomination to run in the general election this fall. You need a scorecard to tell them apart.

BirminghamWatch has produced this Voter Guide to help Jefferson and Shelby voters do just that. In the guide, produced in collaboration with Starnes Media and WBHM, you’ll find printable sample ballots so you’ll know which races are contested in June.

The guide includes profiles with basic information about each of the candidates, including the main issues they’re citing in their campaigns, their biggest contributors and links to their web or social media sites.

Also in the guide is a tool kit of information you need to know about the process of voting in Alabama and information that will help you research candidates more deeply if you’re so inclined.

In the governor’s race, the Voter Guide breaks down the candidates’ stances on issues such as education and taxes and includes WBHM’s interviews with the contenders.

For these resources and more, check out BirminghamWatch’s Voter Guide.