Tax, Senate race on ballot Tuesday

Ed Howel
Posted 8/13/17

County voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide a proposed 1-cent sales tax for debt, roads and other needs, as well as the nominees in the U.S. Senate race to replace Jeff Sessions. …

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Tax, Senate race on ballot Tuesday


County voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide a proposed 1-cent sales tax for debt, roads and other needs, as well as the nominees in the U.S. Senate race to replace Jeff Sessions.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. across the county and the state.

Runoff races in the Senate contest will be on Tuesday, Sept. 26, if any are needed, and the General Election between the Democratic and Republican nominees will be held Tuesday, Dec. 12.

This will be the first contest that will require that those voting in the primary contest must vote in the same party if they return for any runoff race. A new law was passed in the Legislature this year to require adhering to the state party during the primaries. In the General Election, one can vote for anyone.

Anyone wanting to vote in only the sales tax referendum may do so.

The deadlines for voter registration and regular absentee voting have passed. If delivered by hand, an absentee ballot must be returned to the absentee election manager no later than the close of the next business day on Monday, Aug. 14, which is also the last day to vote a business emergency absentee ballot, according to Circuit Clerk Susan Odom, the absentee election manager. The last day to postmark a military ballot returned by mail is election day, Aug. 15. Medical emergency absentee ballots will need to be returned by noon on election day to Odom’s office.

Odom said voters who have moved and not updated their address are urged to contact the Walker County Board of Registrars on the first floor of the courthouse, where one can also register to vote. They may also call 205-384-7279 for more information, or go to to make applications or to make changes. The email address is

People with questions may also go to the Secretary of State’s election website,, which has many other election details and allows online help for a number of needs, such as sample ballots, voter registration, absentee voting and Voter ID, which is now required in the state.

A number of identification cards, including a driver’s license, is allowed for voter ID. Anyone without those forms of identification may apply for a free voter ID card from the state at various locations, including the Board of Registrars Office, mobile locations and online.

The Secretary of State’s Office can also be reached at 1-800-274-8683.

The Republican primary for U.S. Senate will include, in alphabetical order, James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Dom Gentle, Mary Maxwell, Roy. S. Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman and Luther Strange. The Democratic primary will include, in alphabetical order, Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason E. Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy Jr., Brian McGee and Charles Nana.

Most eyes have been on the Republican primary, with daytime appearances made in the county by Pittman and Brooks; Moore is set to appear at Central Baptist Church in Jasper at 5 p.m. today. Fisher also made a stop at a weekend Democratic rally.

The sales tax issue has been promoted by a political action committee, Walker County at a Crossroads, as well as by members of the Walker County Commission. No formally organized opposition has been detected for the proposal, although a number of negative comments have been registered on Facebook.

County officials announced Saturday morning a Facebook Live event has been arranged for 2 p.m. today for commissioners to discuss details of the tax. The half-hour event will be covered live on the Daily Mountain Eagle’s Facebook page.

The question on the ballot for the sales tax will be, “Do you favor authorizing the Walker County Commission to levy a one cent sales and use tax and providing for the use of the funds as provided in Act #2017-256 of the 2017 Regular Session?”