Nov. 1 is deadline to apply for an Absentee Ballot for coming election

Thursday, November 1, 2018 is the last date to apply for an Absentee Ballot in the upcoming November 6 General Election. You must apply by mail (alabamavotes.gov) or in person at the Circuit Clerk’s office to receive an Absentee Ballot. The Absentee Ballot must be returned in person or postmarked by November 5, 2018, the day before Election Day on November 6, 2018. If you know you will not be able to get to vote on November 6, 2018, you can walk into the Circuit Clerk’s office and vote absentee until November 1st. As of Tuesday, October 23, there have been 176 applications for absentee ballots in the coming election according to Mattie Atkins, Circuit Clerk and Absentee Elections manager. “ I expect we will have over 200 absentee ballots cast by the deadline. This is in line with our voting history over the past few elections in Greene County,” said Atkins. “There is no reason why everyone should not vote,” said Lorenzo French, Chair of the Greene County Democratic Executive Committee. “If you are registered in Greene County, but live away, or are attending school, or are sick and homebound, or work on a job which will not let you get back home in time to vote, you still have time to apply for and vote absentee,” said French. There are 7,090 people registered and qualified to vote in the November 6 election according to the Greene County Board of Registrars. In recent elections, 3,500 voters or around 50% turned out to vote, while Greene County had among the highest percentage turnouts in the state, we were far from a record-breaking performance. “This is a critical election in Alabama, all of the major offices in state government in Montgomery including Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, four Supreme court Justices, every state Senator and Representative in the Legislature, all of our Congress-persons and many local officials will be on the ballot,” said Senator Hank Sanders of Alabama. “We need the highest turnout that we can get. Every voter must be concerned and motivated to vote. During the Civil Rights Movement, people died and were beaten for working for the right to vote,” said Spiver W. Gordon, veteran activist. Among the five major reasons people gave for not voting and the responses follow.

• MY VOTE DOESN’T MATTER. Not true. “One vote can make a difference,” says Common Cause, a grassroots organization whose mission is upholding the core values of American democracy. “Many voters, together deciding they will make a difference, can change an election.” The group notes that some local, state and presidential elections have been decided by only “a handful of votes.” Your vote is important for influencing public policy decisions. According to the 2015 report “Why Voting Matters,” voting “plays a significant role in the distribution of government resources as well as the size of government and who benefits from public policies.” The lower voter turnout of young, poor, minority or otherwise marginalized groups has a definite impact on how they’re represented in government.

• I DON’T LIKE THE CANDIDATES AND HATE THE “LESSER OF TWO EVILS” STRATEGY. If you really didn’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump — they were the most unpopular presidential candidates in recent history — you could’ve instead voted for a third party, independent or write-in candidate. It’s important to also vote for the other candidates on your ballot, including those running for Congress and your state legislature. As noted above, your vote truly will influence these lawmakers.As for the lesser of two evils strategy, you should consider what’s at stake in this election — including important issues like gun control, climate change, affordable health care and much more — and vote to support what you believe in.

• IT’S TOO RAINY/SNOWY/HOT/COLD OUTSIDE. Studies have found that Republicans usually win on rainy Election Days. “The traditional Democratic base tends to include lower-income people and the elderly,” explains Wendy Schiller, a political science professor at Brown University. “Both of those demographic groups have a hard time getting to the polls.” One way of avoiding having to venture out in inclement weather on Election Day is to apply for an absentee ballot. You can mail in your completed ballot.

•IT TAKES TOO LONG. I HATE WAITING IN LINE. Voting takes less than 14 minutes on average, yet it can affect the next four or more years. To save time at your polling place, complete and bring your sample ballot with you. If possible, go when it’s not too busy — which is usually in the middle of either the morning or afternoon. Avoid going early in the morning or in the early evening, which are usually the busiest times.

•I DON’T KNOW IF I’M REGISTERED. You can check online to see if you’re registered to vote at your current address. Go to a website like Vote.org and select your state to get started.

Absentee Ballots available now Tuesday, August 15, statewide primary elections scheduled for U. S. Senate seat

_81877350_026263473-1“There is a major special statewide election coming up in Alabama in less than two weeks that most voters don’t know about”, said Lorenzo French, Chair of the Greene County Democratic Executive Committee.
Every registered voter, in both parties – Democrat and Republican – can vote on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 – at your regular polling place, in the primary for the U. S. Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions resigned to become Attorney General. In most counties there will just be this one contest on the ballot.
There is a crowded field of candidates in both parties to fill this position. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the position by former Governor Robert Bentley, leads the Republican field, which also includes former and disgraced Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Mo Brooks, Congressman representing the Huntsville area.
In the Democratic primary there are six candidates. Former U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Doug Jones of Birmingham, leads the race. Jones is best known for prosecuting and winning the conviction of two of the bombers of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, who killed four innocent young girls on a Sunday morning in 1963. Jones has been endorsed by the Alabama New South Alliance, Alabama Democratic Conference and other labor and civic groups.
If no candidate wins 50% plus one vote in this first primary, a second primary between the top two qualifiers will be held on September 26, 2017. If there is a second primary, Alabama law now requires you to vote in the same party you chose to vote in during the first primary. This was done to prevent crossover voting where voters from one party were trying to affect the choice of the other party to benefit their party’s candidate.The Special General Election for this United States Senate seat will be held on December 12, 2017. “Our voters must pay attention to these dates, or they will miss an important election,” said French.
The last day to register to vote in this special election was Monday, July 31. Voter registration will re-open from August 16 to September 15, 2017 for voters to participate in the second primary.
Absentee Ballots are available now from the Circuit Clerk’s office in the Courthouse. Persons who will be out of town, serving in the Armed Forces, attending college out of town or are sick and incapacitated may apply for an absentee ballot to vote. Thursday August 10, 2017 is the last day to apply for a regular absentee ballot.
Absentee ballots must be returned by mail or in person by Monday, August 14, 2017. More information on absentee voting is available from the Circuit Clerk’s office or call 205/372-3598 or 372-6907.
In its last session, the Alabama Legislature changed the conditions for convicted felons to restore their voting rights. The law has clarified which offenses involve moral turpitude and which do not.
Persons convicted of crimes not involving moral turpitude, who have served their time and paid all costs and fines will have an easier process to restore their voting rights. Former felons needing assistance in restoring their voting rights may contact Lorenzo French at 334/872-1355