Primary runoff registration ends today

Published 9:31 pm Thursday, July 1, 2010

Many local residents may have the thought of vacationing on their minds Friday as July 4 draws near, but courthouse officials are asking residents to remember at least one other thing: voting.

Friday marks the final day to register to vote in the July 13 primary runoff election.

While so far registration since the June 1 race has been slow, Probate Judge Wes Allen said he encourages those who aren’t registered to make a stop at the Pike County Courthouse by 5 p.m. Friday.

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“It’s always important to exercise your right to vote. Every election is important,” Allen said.

Allen said he attributes the low registration number likely to summertime drawing families away on vacation, as well as maybe a low-interest in the runoff races.

Melissa Ingram, chairman of the Pike County Board of Registrars, said many of those who came into register since the primary race expressed interest in the Tim James campaign. With him out as a candidate for Alabama governor, she said she isn’t sure how it will impact turnout.

“I do think the people who have come in are definitely focused on the governor’s race,” Ingram said. “I just hope people will come out and vote.”

Ingram said all residents need in order to register is a driver’s license ID or simply the last four digits of their social security number.

While she isn’t sure exactly how many have come in to vote since the June 1 election, she said there are only about 17,000 to 18,000 registered voters of the some 30,000 Pike County residents.

“There are a lot of people out there who have still not registered to vote,” she said.

Those who do register after Friday will still be able to vote in the November General Election, just not the July 13 runoff.

Those who won’t be in town to vote can also still fill out absentee ballots before July 8.

Audrey Milton, absentee election manager, said the absentee votes have been “very slow” for this race.

Milton said of the 34 she’s sent out, only 16 ballots have been cast at this time.

The July 13 primary race will give voters on the Republican ticket the chance to choose a governor nominee from Bradley Byrne or Robert Bentley. The winner will face Democrat Ron Sparks for an open seat in November.

Another race that may be of interest include the Second Congressional District runoff between Rick Barber and Martha Roby. The winner will face incumbent Bobby Bright, D-Montgomery, in November. The Public Service Commission Place 1 will go to a runoff between Twinkle Cavanaugh and Stephen Evans to face Democrat incumbent Jan Cook. Agriculture Commission candidates John McMillan and Dorman Grace will face off for the Republican nomination against Democrat Glen Zorn in November.

The only Democrat ticket runoff will be for the Attorney General seat, with James Anderson and Giles Perkins as the runoff candidates. The victor will face Republican Luther Strange in November.

Allen said there is no crossover rules for the race, meaning those who didn’t vote or voted on a different party ticket can still vote as they please come July 13.