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Low turnout expected at Republican runoff Tuesday

Probate Judge Wes Allen is projecting an even lower voter turnout for the Republican runoff for the U.S. Senate seat than the primaries in August.

“With this special Republican primary run-off, I anticipate voter turnout will be lower than the August 15th primary, which was 16 percent,” Allen said.

The projection is a dismal one as the turnout for the primaries was already low– regularly scheduled elections average 30 to 32 percent turnout.

Allen clarified a new rule that will apply to Tuesday’s primary.

“The new crossover voting law will be in effect for the Republican primary runoff election,” Allen said.” Any person that voted in the Republican primary, or did not vote at all, in the August 15th primary is eligible to vote. However, in compliance with state law, voters that participated in the Democratic primary on August 15 will not be eligible to vote.”

Tuesday’s runoff is the state’s first to operate under the new rule.

Residents who won’t be able to make it to the polls between 7 a.m. and 7 pm. Tuesday need to request an absentee ballot today to vote in the election.

“The last day to request a ballot is Thursday, September 21 and the last day to hand deliver an absentee ballot is Monday, September 25,” said Jamie Scarbrough, circuit clerk

Scarbrough said the office has had a problem with residents coming and trying to turn in another person’s absentee ballot.

“In accordance with Alabama Law, no one can hand-deliver another person’s application or ballot to the absentee election manager’s office,” Scarbrough said. “All applications and ballots must be hand-delivered by the voter or mailed by the voter.”

There are several reasons that a resident can vote absentee:

  • The person will be out of the county or the state on Election Day.
  • The person has any physical illness or infirmity which prevents his attendance at the polls.
  • The person is unable to access their assigned polling place due to a neurological, musculoskeletal, respiratory (including speech organs) cardiovascular or other life-altering disorder that affects their ability to perform manual tasks, stand for any length of time, walk unassisted, see, hear, or speak AND: (a) they are an elderly voter aged 65 or older OR (b) they are a voter with a disability.
  • The person works a shift which has at least ten (10) hours that coincide with the polling hours at their regular polling place.
  • The person is enrolled as a student at an educational institution located outside the county of their personal residence, attendance at which prevents their attendance at the polls.
  • The person is a member of, or spouse or dependent of a member of, the Armed Forces of the United States or is otherwise similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff.
  • The person has been appointed as an election officer at a polling place which is not their regular polling place.

Anyone with questions about which precinct they are supposed to vote can call the Board of Registrars office or visit www.pikeprobate.com. Those with questions about absentee voting can call Jamie Scarbrough at 566-5113.­