TALLADEGA COUNTY -- Republicans in Talladega and St. Clair counties will finally have an opportunity to choose a nominee for U.S. Senate next month, while Talladega GOP voters will also select the next occupants of two County Commission seats.
The Senate race pits former Sen. Jeff Sessions against former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, with the winner taking on incumbent Democrat Doug Jones in November.
In Talladega, incumbent Commissioner Jackie Swinford is in a runoff against Jay Watson, and Phillip Morris and Buddy Milam will square off to replace Greg Atkinson, who is not running for re-election. There are no Democratic candidates in either race.
There are no local races in St. Clair County.
The runoff was originally scheduled for March 31 but was moved to July 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alabama does not allow crossover voting, which means those who voted in the Democratic primary will not be allowed to vote in the Republican runoff. Those who voted in the Republican primary, did not vote in either primary or were not registered to vote may cast ballots in the runoff, however.
The deadline to register to vote is Monday, June 29, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office. An application for an absentee ballot must be received no more than five days before the election, in this case July 9.
A returned absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than July 13 and be received no later than noon on election day, July 14.
Absentee ballots can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website or through the offices of the local absentee election manager, specifically Talladega County Circuit Clerk Brian York or St. Clair County Revenue Commissioner Kenneth L. Crow.
The application must include a copy of a valid photo identification, and the signature must be notarized or observed by two witnesses.
The St. Clair County Probate Office has asked that anyone seeking to register visit alabamavotes.gov or the Board of Registrars Office in Pell City. Residents may also register at the Probate Office in Pell City or Asheville. Residents can check the voter registry by calling 205-338-3954.
Crowe said despite recent court rulings against some absentee guidelines in a few Alabama counties, the rules in St. Clair remain the same. The ruling applies specifically to Mobile, Jefferson and Lee counties, where absentee ballot applications do not have to be witnessed or notarized.
“There has been no ruling on if those apply statewide,” Crowe said.
Crowe said due to this, the absentee ballot procedure remains the same as in other counties and in previous elections.
York said he believed the ruling was under appeal and had not gone into effect anywhere, but in any case, would not impact voters in Talladega County.