Tag: 2020 election

Concerns Raised About COVID at Horizon Church Polling Place After Worker Tests Positive

Voters who cast their ballots last week at Horizon Church had to endure some very long lines. Now they’ll have to endure concern about possible exposure to COVID-19.

A press release from the office of Jefferson County county manager Tony Petelos says there is a chance persons who voted at Precinct 5120, otherwise known as Horizon Church in Vestavia Hills, on Election Day may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. Coincidentally, that is the polling place of Jefferson County Presiding Probate Judge James P. Naftel II, who fielded an Election Day call from his wife about her waiting in the line or returning later. Read more.

Biden Wins Presidency

Joe Biden has won election as president of the United States, defeating incumbent Donald Trump in a combative campaign set against the backdrop of a pandemic and racial unrest.

The Associated Press called the race for Biden Saturday morning, four days after Election Day, when it put Pennsylvania into his ‘win’ column. Votes still are being counted in many states, but Biden appears to have reached a tipping point in the race for electoral votes that Trump cannot overcome. Read more.

Big Turnout But No Major Problems at Jefferson County Precincts

Horizon Church in Vestavia Hills saw a flood of voters descend Tuesday on its Columbiana Road location. But that wasn’t the only flood that precinct experienced.

“Horizon Church had their bathroom back up right early in the morning, and there was flooding in the hallway,” Jefferson County Probate Judge James P. Naftel II recalled. “We had to work with the county to get Port-O-Lets out there for those voters.”

Which, the judge said, was easier said than done.

“You don’t just snap your fingers and Port-O-Lets appear,” he said. “It took a few hours, and people were waiting outside, and sometimes they have kids.

“People had to endure a little bit more than normal on this one (election) but they rose to the occasion as they always do,” Naftel said. “I was overall relieved that things went as smoothly as they did.”
Read more.

Mostly Smooth Sailing in Tuesday’s Election Except for Long Lines at Some Precincts

Jefferson County Board of Registrars Chairman Barry Stephenson said Wednesday that Tuesday’s election ran smoothly with “a few minor glitches,” despite long lines at most precincts.

Those standing in one of those long lines in Vestavia Hills had some unexpected entertainment to help pass the time. Voters reported a middle-aged man dressed in a baby costume with a large Trump head cavorting across the street.

“I just told them that as long as he was not too close to the polls, they were on their own,” Stephenson said.

Earlier on Tuesday, he said, “We had one instance of over-zealous campaign workers, closer than 30 feet (from the polling place). We backed them up, and that was it.” That occurred in Tarrant City.
Stephenson said that the county will be looking at adding precincts to remedy the long lines. “This year we were having to deal with COVID, as well,” he said.

On the state level, Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill said absentee votes were still being counted in some counties as of late Wednesday. Already, the state has broken its previous record for the sheer number of people who voted. Read more.

More election coverage from BirminghamWatch

Trump Sweeps Alabama, Tuberville Ousts Jones for Senate Seat

Tuberville Reclaims Senate Seat for the Republicans

Voters Change Constitution With Votes for at Least Five Amendments

Who Won the Votes in Alabama and Jefferson County?

2020 Voter Guide

Voters Change Constitution With Votes for Five Amendments

Five of the six statewide amendments on Alabama’s ballot passed Tuesday, with another one that proposed several changes to ethics oversight in the state judiciary being too close to call early Wednesday morning.

Most of the measures, including one to “recompile” the constitution to remove racist language and two others establishing county-specific “stand your ground” laws for churches, passed easily. Read more.

Trump Sweeps Alabama, Tuberville Ousts Jones for Senate Seat

Donald J. Trump was in a close reelection fight Tuesday night, but it was not close in the Heart of Dixie.

Trump won Alabama overwhelmingly over Democrat Joe Biden, just as he did in 2016 when he defeated Hillary Clinton. And keeping with their strong preference for Republican candidates, Alabama voters chose former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, a political newcomer whose campaign was largely based on his loyalty to Trump, to replace Democratic incumbent Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate.

Unofficial returns from all 67 counties this morning showed Trump leading Biden by about 62% to 36% in Alabama. Almost as soon as polling places around the state closed, The Associated Press declared Trump the winner, and thus he will win the state’s nine electoral votes, just as he did in 2016 when he won 63% of the votes against Democratic nominee Clinton.

Tuberville, meanwhile, was leading Jones by a margin of about 60% to 39%, though Jones was ahead by 58% to 41% in the state’s most populous county of Jefferson and by an even bigger margin in Montgomery County.
Read more.

Tuberville Reclaims Senate Seat for the Republicans

Tommy Tuberville defeated incumbent Sen. Doug Jones in Tuesday’s election, reclaiming Alabama’s junior Senate seat for Republicans after the party’s surprise loss in a special election three years ago.

With 65 of 67 counties reporting at midnight, Tuberville had 62% of the vote to Jones’ 38%.  

Tuberville, a former head football coach for Auburn University, had easily defeated the seat’s previous occupant, Jeff Sessions, in July’s Republican runoff. From there, he shifted to a minimalist campaign approach, eschewing debates and mostly avoiding public and media appearances, counting on his name recognition and Alabama’s deep-rooted conservative politics to push him to victory.

Even in the primary, his campaign was painted in broad strokes. Tuberville portrayed himself as a loyalist to President Donald Trump, echoing his promises to “drain the swamp” – i.e., remove corruption from Washington — and to “build the wall” along America’s border with Mexico. When he appeared onstage Tuesday night to give his acceptance speech, he promised supporters that his first term as senator would “be guided by our shared values, conservative values, and I will vote for the majority people of the state of Alabama and not for a party like Doug Jones did.” Read more.

Long Voter Line Spurs Good Samaritans to Action

While some people are concerned solely with who wins on Election Day, Deb and Charlie O’Hara were worried about people they didn’t know in neighboring Jefferson County at Legion Field.

The residents of unincorporated North Shelby County cast their ballots about two days ago, but they couldn’t sit idle as they saw others performing their civic duty in a television report this morning. The thought of them enduring the hot sun or freezing cold – “We weren’t sure which one it was going to be,” – spurred the couple to action.

“We saw the line this morning here. They showed it on the news, a big, long line,” Deb O’Hara said. “We just went over to Costco and bought a bunch of snacks and stuff and bottled water. We just thought we’d give it out. We just wanted to do something nice for people.”