Voters head to polls today

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters are heading to the polls Tuesday as part of the Super Tuesday primary contests.

Republican candidates — including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — campaigned through the deeply red state over the weekend while Hillary Clinton looked to extend her dominance with African-American voters ahead of the Democratic primary

Political scientist Natalie Davis said the biggest thing to watch is the order of the Republican finishers.

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Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Alabama’s participation in Super Tuesday has brought more candidate and voter interest this election year.

Merrill is projecting a voter turnout of about 40 percent, a strong showing for a primary.

Voters heading to the polls will have the choice of voting in either the Republican or Democratic primaries.

On the local ballot, three commission seats are being contested:

• In District 3, incumbent Jimmy Barron faces challenger Forest Lee in the Republican primary.

• In District 4, four candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by retiring commissioner Ray Goodson. Chad Copeland and Andy Sheffield have qualified as Republicans. Steve Thrash and Odies Townsend qualified as Democrats, but Townsend withdrew from the race earlier this month. His name will remain on the ballot.

• In District 6, incumbent Joey Jackson faces challenger Russell Johnson on the Republican ballot.

Voters also will cast ballots in the presidential primaries, which feature high profile races on both the GOP and Democratic ticket.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are on the Democratic ticket. The Republican ballot still lists all the original qualifiers, but candidates still in the race include Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ben Carson.