Primary election ballots set

Published 7:52 pm Friday, January 17, 2020

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The primary election is now just 45 days away, and although there are no Pike County races, there are several seats on the ballot that have a big impact on local voters.

The Pike County probate office is busy getting prepared for the first election of the season.

“We’re meeting with all of our folks and working with our vendors,” said Probate Judge Michael Bunn. “We just got done with some election training and we’re working with all of our poll workers, preparing for their training soon.”

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There have been three changes to polling locations that voters need to be aware of – the Little Oak Grocery Store polling place has been changed to Scott Farm Supply, the polling place formerly at the Hastings Building in Brundidge has been moved to Brundidge Station, and the National Guard Armory polling place has been switched to the Collegedale Church of Christ.

Bunn said these changes have been advertised and notification has already been sent through the mail to voters in these precincts making them aware of the change. Voters with questions about their precincts can contact the Pike County Board of Registrars at 334-566-1757.

With the ballots set, applications are now available to obtain an absentee ballot as well.

So what should voters expect when they enter the ballot box for the primary races on March 3?

Although Donald Trump is expected to be the Republican nominee, Republican voters do have another name on the ballot in Bill Weld if they so choose.

Democrat voters will have many more options in the presidential spot on their ballots, with 14 candidates making the cut. The candidates are Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

There are seven candidates running to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones for his seat. The candidates are Stanley Adair, Bradley Byrne, Arnold Mooney, Roy Moore, Ruth Page Nelson, Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tubberville. Session formerly held the seat before being appointed by Trump as U.S. attorney general. The vacancy created a special election in which Jones eventually beat out Moore for the seat.

Jones is unopposed for the Democratic nomination; therefore, the race does not appear on the Democratic ballot.

There are seven Republican candidates competing to represent Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District in the House of Representatives after six-term incumbent Martha Roby announced that she would not seek reelection. The candidates are Thomas W. Brown Jr., Jeff Coleman, Terri Hasdroff, Troy King, Barry Moore, Bob Rogers and Jessica Taylor.

Two Democratic candidates will vie to earn the Democratic nomination for the seat: Phyliss Harvey-Hall and Nathan Mathis.

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Robin Litaker are both seeking the Republican nomination for the seat of president on the Public Service Commission.

Laura Casey and Robert Mardis III are competing for the Democratic nomination for Public Service Commission president.

Greg Shaw and Cam Ward are both running to be the Republican nominee for associate justice of the Supreme Court, place no. 1.

Phillip Bahakel and Matt Friday will face off for the Republican nomination for Court of Civil Appeals, place no. 2.

Melvin Hasting and Mary Windom are running for the Republic nomination to the Court of Criminal Appeals judge, place no. 2.

Three candidates are seeking the Republican nomination to the Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, place no. 2 – Jill Ganus, Beth Kellum and Will Smith.

Presidential delegates will also be on the ballot.

Eight Democratic candidates are seeking nomination to the State Board of Education District 5. They are Fred Bell, Tonya Smith Chestnut, Ron Davis, Pamela Laffitte, Patrice “Penni” McClammy, Woodie Pugh Jr., Joanne Shum and Billie Jean Young.

A constitutional amendment will appear on both primary ballots, as well as on its own separate ballot for voters who choose to participate in neither part y primary.

The amendment proposes changing the board of Education from an elected board to an appointed commission.

The amendment specifically calls for changing the name of the State Board of Education to the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for appointment of the members of the commission by the governor, subject to senate confirmation; to change the name of the State Superintendent of Education to the Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education; to provide for the appointment of the secretary by the commission, subject to senate confirmation; and to authorize the governor to appoint a team of local educators and other officials to advise the commission on matters relating to the functioning and duties of the State Department of Education.

If necessary, a primary runoff will be held four weeks after the primary, a new shorter window to expedite the process.

Any voter who participates in either party’s primary election may only participate in the runoff election of the same party. Any voters who did not participate in either primary are welcome to vote in either party’s runoff, including voters who requested a ballot containing only the proposed constitutional amendment.