Independent qualifying

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2000

extended due to holiday


Staff Writer

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Pike County could be subject to legal action if a potential candidate waits until the last day to qualify.

Monday is the final filing day for third-party and independent candidates wishing to be elected in November, but many Alabama counties have declared that a holiday.

Pike County Probate Judge Bill Stone said third-party and independent candidates will be allowed to file Wednesday since the Pike County Commission declared July 3 a holiday.

But, that could cause some problems down the road because party candidates can challenge the new candidates for filing late.

The Secretary of State’s Office has not taken a position, as far as legal consequences.

Conflicting laws are the trouble. The state authorizes the closing of county offices if it’s not a holiday if the county commission has been given that authority under the law. However, another law states the probate office must be open, except for legal holidays and Sundays.

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office has not issued an advisory opinion.

Stone said "several faxes from Montgomery" regarding the potential problems came into his office Friday.

After reading the material, Stone said it’s his "opinion" that qualifying papers can be filed Wednesday.

Some Alabama county’s observing a four-day holiday have made other plans for those candidates wishing to apply. For example, in Etowah County candidates can take applications to the sheriff’s department dispatcher. In Lawrence County, anyone wanting to file can call the probate judge at home.

But, in Pike County and many others, the candidates will just have to wait until Wednesday.