Polls open at 7 a.m. for primary

Published 9:52 pm Monday, June 2, 2014

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Pike County voters will have the opportunity to choose the person they want to represent them in the general election.
Primary elections have traditionally had a lower voter turnout than general elections, but local party chairmen say today’s election is just as important as November’s.
“It’s a way to have their voices heard,” said Pike County Republican Party Chairman Jeffrey Knight.
The primary places the individual, not the party, in the forefront. In a closed primary like today’s, voters declare a party affiliation and are given a ballot of candidates in that party.
Since ballots are lined with candidates who share similar political views, the choices come down to what people know about the candidates. Knight said the primary gives people a chance to have some say in their party.
“There’s no way for voters to have input on which candidate is best for the job if they don’t vote,” he said.
Today’s Democratic ballot will feature two races: governor and the local representative for the state’s Democratic executive committee.
“Basically its the governing committee for the state Democratic Party,” explained Jerry Williams, chairman of the Pike County Democratic Party.
He does not expect an overwhelming number of people to cast a vote today, but hopes voters surprise him.
“We do have candidates on the ballot [and] traditionally we always have exercised our right to vote,” said Williams.
This year’s primary will be the first election to require voters to present photo I.D. since the state legislature passed a bill mandating it.
Voters who come to the polls without valid identification will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot unless two election officials can verify the voter is registered in their precinct.
The Pike County Board of Registrars office will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Residents can confirm where to fill out their ballots by call the Registrars office at 566-1757. Voters can also log on to myinfo.alabamavotes.gov and fill out a short form to locate their polling place.

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