Greene Co. Circuit Clerk to open office on Saturday mornings for early absentee walk-in voting

Veronica Morton-Jones, Greene County Circuit Clerk announced today that she will open her office in the William M. Branch County Courthouse on Saturday mornings, from 8:00 AM to Noon, starting this Saturday, September 26th to allow for early, walk-in, absentee voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I want to be sure every voter, who wants to vote has a chance to vote in this critical upcoming November 3rd election. This is why I am opening my office on Saturdays from now until the election. We will also be open from 8:00 AM to 3:00PM on Monday through Friday for people to walk-in and vote or apply for an absentee ballot until October 29, 2020, the deadline for absentee voting,” said Morton-Jones.

Due to the coronavirus emergency in Alabama, declared by Governor Ivey, Secretary of State John Merrill has said, “Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual. In the case none of the boxes are appropriate, voters can check the box which reads as follows: I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]”

This means, you can walk into the Clerk of Court’s office in the Courthouse, present your photo-id, and receive an absentee ballot. You can vote then and sign your outside mailing envelop and the Circuit Clerk or her designated staff will notarize your absentee ballot, and place it in the ballot box to be counted on election day. This is an easy process to vote early, vote now, and make sure your vote is counted!
If you are sick, injured, incapacitated, bedridden, staying home due to COVID-19, or are a student away at a college campus, or intend to be out of town on business, you can contact the Circuit Clerk or go on-line to the Secretary of State’s website and request an absentee ballot. Make this request, as soon as possible, but certainly before the October 29th deadline.
When you receive your absentee ballot, vote and send it in as soon as possible. It must be postmarked by November 3, 2020 or hand delivered by you, and only you, by November 2, 2020, to count in the election.
After you have voted, place your ballot in the secrecy envelop and place this envelop in the mailing envelop. The mailing envelop has an affidavit, printed on the back, which you, the voter, must sign and have witnessed by two persons or signed and sealed by a Notary Public. Your children or other relatives and friends can help you vote absentee and make sure your ballot envelop affidavit is properly completed, so your vote will be counted.
This is a complicated process and some voters mail in their ballots without signing them and having them witnessed by two people or notarized. If the affidavit envelop is not properly filled out the Absentee Ballot polling officials can disqualify the ballot and it will not be counted.
Veronica Morton-Jones Greene County Circuit Clerk says, “I am here to help you vote absentee. I will come out to your car to give you an application or take your ballot, just call me. I am also extending my hours to Saturday mornings to help make sure everyone has a chance to vote.”
When you vote in the November 3rd election be sure to vote for all the races down the ballot not just in the presidential race between Trump-Pence against Biden-Harris. In Alabama, there is an important contest between incumbent Democrat Doug Jones and challenger Tommy Tubberville for a U. S. Senate seat. You can also vote a straight party ticket at the top of the ballot and vote for all Democratic or Republican Party candidates on the ballot, depending on your choice.
All seven Congress seats in the state are on the ballot. There are judgeships, seats on the State Board of Education, a seat on the Public Service Commission, local school board members and other races are on the ballot, across the state.
There are also six statewide Constitutional Amendments to vote on at the back of the ballot. In Greene County, we also have Local Referendum No. 1 on the back of the ballot, which gives voters the chance to decide for or against, a 4 mil increase in ad valorem property tax, to support the Greene County Hospital and Health System.

Absentee voting available now for March 3 Primary elections

Veronica Morton-Jones Circuit Clerk with Mary Snoddy shown with absentee ballot information.

Based on a press release from Veronica Morton-Jones, Circuit Clerk of Greene County, absentee ballots for the March 3, 2020 Presidential, State and Local primary elections are available now for Greene County and across the State of Alabama.
To apply for an absentee ballot, the voter must go to the Absentee Manager’s Office, the Circuit Clerk’s office in the Greene County Courthouse; or on line at the Alabama Secretary of State’s web page:; or if serving in the U. S. Armed Forces, contact your commanding officer for an application and instructions. The last date to apply for an absentee ballot for the March 3rd primary is Thursday, February 27, 2020, which is five days before the election. All absentee ballots must be returned to the office or postmarked by March 2, 2020. When applying for a ballot, the voter must specify if they want a Democrat or Republican ballot.
To vote an absentee ballot, a voter must meet one of the following requirements:
• Expects to be absent from the county on election day;
• Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place;
• Is an Alabama Registered Voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person;
• Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place;
• Expects to work a required shift, 10 hours or more, that coincides with polling hours;
• Is a caregiver for a family member to the second degree of kinship by affinity or consanguinity and the family member is confined to his or her home;
• Is currently incarcerated in prison or jail and has not been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude.
You can use absentee voting as a form of early voting, if you currently think you will be away from the county on election day, you may vote absentee by requesting a ballot by mail or going into the Circuit Clerk’s office and voting there. Then if your circumstances change and you are back in the county on Election Day, then just do not go to your regular voting poll and try to vote, because that will be considered as trying to vote twice, which is illegal.
Your absentee ballot application must be accompanied by a copy of current, valid photo identification – usually a driver’s license or photo voter ID card, issued by the county Registrar of Voter’s office.
Any completed application for an absentee ballot must be returned by the voter in person or sent by mail or commercial carrier. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s application.
Each application must be mailed separately. Multiple applications cannot be mailed in the same envelope, even if voters live at the same address.
The absentee election manager may not give any person access to completed and filed applications for absentee ballots. This information is not a matter of public record. It should be considered privileged information just the same as voter registration applications.
The absentee election manager shall forward the absentee ballot by US mail to the applicant at their residence address.
Voters must complete all the information on the affidavit on the absentee ballot envelope. If the voter’s affidavit is not signed (or marked with an x), and if the affidavit is not witnessed by two witnesses (18 years old or older) or a notary public, prior to being delivered or mailed, in an outside envelop, to the Absentee Election Manager, the ballot will not be counted.
Based on poll watching during past elections, between 5 and 10 percent of the absentee ballots returned do not have the affidavit signed and filled out correctly and thus are not counted. If you take the time to request an absentee ballot make sure you follow the instructions to vote correctly or your absentee ballot will not be counted.

Tennyson Smith defeats Pelt for Commission seat Greene County has high turnout for straight Democratic ticket; Not enough to stem state trend for Republicans

Gov. Kay Ivey and Tennyson Smith

Unofficial vote totals for Tuesday’s General Election show that 4,183 of Greene County’s 7,050 registered voters (59.3%) turned out and voted overwhelming for the straight Democratic ticket. In Greene County, in the Governor’s race, Democratic candidate, Walt Maddox received 3,506 votes (84.1%) to 661 votes (15.1%) for incumbent Republican Kay Ivey. Statewide Ivey received 849,410 (61%) to 562,521 (39%) for Maddox. Ivey becomes Alabama’s second woman Governor and at 74, the oldest elected Governor in the nation. In other statewide contests, the Republican candidates were all successful in their races including: Will Ainsworth for Lieutenant Governor, Steve Marshall for Attorney General, Tom Parker for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, John H. Merrill for Secretary of State, John McMillan for State Treasurer, Jim Ziegler for State Auditor, Rick Pate for Commissioner of Agriculture, Jeremy H. Oden, Public Service Commission, Place 1 and Chris ‘Chip” Beeker Jr., Public Service Commission Place 2. Beeker is a native and resident of Greene County. All seven of Alabama’s incumbent Congresspersons were reelected, including Terri Sewell, who ran unopposed for the 7th District. Sewell is the only Democrat in Alabama’s delegation to Congress. In local Greene County races, Tennyson Smith was reelected County Commissioner in District 2 by a vote of 620 defeating Independent Latoya ‘Mi-Mi’ Pelt with 191 votes. Tennyson Smith will be joining Commissioners Lester ‘Bop’ Brown (District 1), Corey Cockrell (District 3), Allen Turner, Jr. (District 4), and Roshonda Summerville (District 5), who were Democratic nominees from the primary who were unopposed in the General Election. This election also officially confirmed the election of other Greene County office holders who were nominated in the Democratic primary and unopposed in this election. This includes: Eddie Hardaway Jr, Circuit Judge, Veronica Morton-Jones, Circuit Clerk, Rolanda H. Wedgeworth, Judge of Probate, Jonathan ‘Joe” Benison, Sheriff, and Ronald ‘Kent’ Smith, Coroner. Greene County will also be represented by the same legislative delegation including Bobby Singleton, State Senator District 24, A. J. McCampbell, State Representative District No. 71 and Ralph A. Howard, State Representative District 72, who were unopposed and elected in yesterday’s election. All four State Amendments on the ballot were approved statewide by a 60% margin, however in Greene County voters opposed amendments 1, 2 and 4. Amendment 2, which says that Alabamians recognize the rights of the unborn, could lead to the outlawing of abortions and certain contraceptive measures in the future.

Local Foot Soldiers honored at Dr. King Commemorative Program


Shown L to R: Mrs. Elzora Fluker, Mrs. Leola Carter, Mrs. Elberta Miles and Elder Spiver Gordon; Shown L to R: Rev. John Kennard, Rev Carlos Thornton, Rev. James Carter, Joseph Siegelman, Lorenzo French, Ruby Cain, Elder Spiver Gordon and former Governor Don Siegelman; Elder Spiver Gordon gives Certificate of  Appreciation to Rev. Carlos Thornton 

Sunday, April 8, 2018 a commemoration program was held at Mt. Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church in Tishabee, AL where Rev. Carlos Thornton serves as church pastor. The program, sponsored by the Alabama Civil Rights Museum, honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as the Foot Soldiers of Greene County who worked in the Civil Rights Movement.
The theme for the event, Recognizing, Observing and Remembering featured the observance of local Civil Rights leaders of Greene County from the Tishabee and Forkland communities. Elder Spiver Gordon, the President of the Alabama Civil Right Museum, presented local Foot Soldiers with certificates of recognition for their contributions in paving the way to ensure a better future.

The honorees included Rev. Marshall Anthony, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hines, Mr. Jonah Smothers, Mr. George Perry, Mr. Ed Carter, Rev. W.D. Lewis, Mrs. Eliza Carter, Mrs. Mary Eliza French, Mr. Vassie Knott, Elberta Miles Mr. and Mrs. Willie C. Carter and many more. Family members were present to accept on behalf of their deceased family member.
Gordon stated, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a predominant leader in the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination in America during the 1950s and 1960s and a leading spokesperson for nonviolent methods of achieving social change. The local Foot Soldiers followed the philosophy of Dr. King.”
On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated on the balcony outside his Memphis, Tennessee, hotel room. In a posthumously published essay titled “A Testament of Hope,” King urged African Americans to continue their commitment to nonviolence, but also cautioned that “justice for Black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.”
During the 1963 March on Washington, King declared that all people should be judged not “by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Gordon noted that these principles guided the Foot Soldiers of Tishabee and Forkland who sacrificed and took risks to bring about change. During the 1963 March on Washington, King declared that all people should be judged not “by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” The King Center in Atlanta is a living memorial to King’s vision of a free and equal world dedicated to expanding opportunity, fighting racism and ending all forms of discrimination.
Local candidate in the 2018 June Primary and November General Elections were invited to come to meet and greet the community. For Probate Judge: Rev. John Kennard and Rev. James Carter were present; Circuit Clerk candidate Veronica Morton-Jones was present; Commission Candidate, District 4, John Vester was present and Commission Candidate, District 3, Elzora C. Fluker was present. In the Sheriff’s race Lorenzo French and Beverly Spencer were present.
Also in attendance was former Governor Don Siegelman, along with his son Joseph Siegelman, who is a candidate for Attorney General. Both greeted the congregation.
Keynote speaker Senator Hank Sanders delivered greetings via phone. He stated as one of his favorite quotes: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Bro. Lorenzo French recited one of Dr. King’s speeches. Songs were rendered by Rev. Kendrick Howell, Bro. Willie Mack and Donald Young.

ANSA endorses local candidates in the Democratic primary set for June 5, 2018

The Greene County Chapter of the Alabama New South Alliance (ANSA) met over the past weekend to screen and endorse candidates for the primary election to be held on June 5, 2018.
Candidates for local offices made short presentations to the ANSA members and then answered questions from a screening committee and the general membership.
For Probate Judge, ANSA endorsed Jeremy Rancher in a close contest with Rev. James Carter. Rev. John Kennard and Rashon Smith also appeared to be screened, however neither Rolanda M. Wedgeworth nor Grace Belton Stanford, who were invited, appeared before the group.
For Circuit Clerk, ANSA endorsed Veronica Morton Jones over Debra Blackmon.
For Sheriff, ANSA heard from Lorenzo French and Beverly Spencer, two of the four candidates and endorses Lorenzo French. Incumbent Sheriff Jonathan Benison and Jimmie L. Benison declined the invitation to appear before the group.
For Coroner, ANSA chose to endorse Ronald K. Smith, incumbent Coroner, for the position over Finest Gandy Jr., his opponent.
ANSA heard from most of the candidates for the Greene County Commission and endorsed the following:

• Lester Brown –
District 1
• Tennyson Smith –
District 2
• Elzora Fluker –
District 3
• Allen Turner Jr. –
District 4
•Rashonda Summerville –
District 5

The ANSA members plan to work between now and the election to support this slate of local candidates. On April 21, ANSA will hold its statewide convention in Montgomery to screen and endorse candidates for statewide and multi-county districts to complete its slate of candidates for the June 5, 2018 primary election.

Morton-Jones seeks Circuit Clerk position


I am, Court Specialist Veronica Morton-Jones, and I am announcing my candidacy for Greene County Circuit Clerk. I am a 1997 graduate of Eutaw High School, and I studied 3 years at the University of West Alabama. I am a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Eutaw, AL. I am the eldest child of the late David J. Lewis, Sr, and Theresa and Charles Crawford, all of Eutaw, AL. My husband, Lataursa Jones, Sr. and I have three children all being educated in the Greene County School System. I was raised to give “all praises” to God the head of my life. “Give it your best and nothing less,” is the work ethics my parents taught me. Both are hard working individuals being employed 30 or more years on the same job; my father at Eutaw Hardwood and my mother at Edgar’s Foodland. Their loyalty and dedication are rooted in me.

Hard work is no stranger to me since I have been employed in Upper Management at Church’s Chicken of Eutaw for over 10 years, and that has given me the managing, training, and temperament to serve the public. Working and helping others is my passion, as I serve as Chair-Lady on the Eutaw Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, that experience has also given me the skills to work with others setting policies and ensuring that procedures are followed.
I have been employed in the Clerk’s office for the past 9 years. State testing and various state trainings have prepared me to be a highly qualified, experienced, and very knowledgeable Circuit Clerk.
The Clerk’s Office is an essential part of the Judicial process which makes it possible for the District Attorney’s Office, the Circuit and District Judge’s Offices, and the Sheriff Department to perform their duties. A vote for me will allow a continued flow of the daily operations of these offices.
Every Citizen of Greene County life will not be touched by the Court System, but for those who do; I am that Public Servant here to help you with the right attitude and information. I am a Public Servant, not a Politician, and I intend to be a continued leader, serving the citizens of Greene County. With your support, the Clerk’s office will have a highly qualified and experienced person, one who already knows the day to day operations of the office.
A vote for me is a vote for a highly experienced, very dedicated, and passionate candidate here to serve YOU the citizens of Greene County.
Greene County let’s stop hoping for the Best, and start voting for the Best!
Veronica Morton-Jones the “Best” Candidate for Greene County Circuit Clerk.