Low voter turnout expected today

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 20, 2000

Staff Writer

March 20, 2000 9 PM

Voter turnout for today’s Constitutional Amendment Election is expected to be low.

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There really has not been much speculation about voter turnout for the special election.

"I don’t have a good feel for that," Pike County Probate Judge Bill Stone said.

Unlike elections involving candidates, Constitutional Amendment elections "don’t bring out voters," Stone said.

But, Pike County residents who do vote today will be able to do so between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Those Alabamians who do go to the polls will cast ballots on a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.

The amendment, if passed, will increase the state corporate income tax rate from the current rate of five percent to a rate of 6.5 percent. The increases will be on taxable income of corporations beginning with the 2001 calendar year.

Proposal of the tax increase is the result of the United States Supreme Court declaring Alabama’s franchise tax on out-of-state companies to be unconstitutional. As a result of that decision, the state stands to lose $120 million each year and the state needs the money generated from passage of the amendment to operate.

For Stone and others, today’s election is just the beginning of what will be a busy political year.

In addition to running for re-election, Stone has to make sure everything is ready for the Republican and Democratic Primaries on June 6, followed by the run-offs two weeks later.

"As soon as this is over, we turn around and get ready for the June primaries," Stone said.

The General Election is in November.