Commission, judicial, Senate races will be highlights

Primaries will be Tuesday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Posted

Primary day in Walker County will arrive at last on Tuesday, with polls throughout the county opening from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The Walker County Registrar's Office says that 48,220 people are qualified voters in the county. Voter registration has ended in the state for this election. 

Unfortunately, worries exist many voters may not show up, as the National Weather Service forecast for Jasper for Tuesday shows a 90 percent chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm, with a high of 69. 

The layout of the front and the back of the sample ballots can be found online at the Secretary of State's Website (sos.alabama.gov) or the state's election website (alabamavotes.gov) in the 2020 election information section, along with a number of other election materials, including the 2020 Voter Guide. One may also use the state's app for elections, Vote for Alabama.

People with other questions may also go to alabamavotes.gov, which has many other election details and allows online help for a number of needs, including polling locations, Voter Photo ID, emergency absentee voting applications

As it is a primary ballot, voters will be asked to select either a Republican or Democratic ballot, as the ballot will determine party nominees - although all the local races for courthouse positions will be on the Republican ballot. Those who select a party this time must also ask for the same party if a runoff is held on March 31 - which could happen for sure on the Republican side particularly, considering crowded fields for U.S. Senate and District 3 on the Walker County Commission. 

Voters will also have the choice of picking only a ballot for the sole state constitutional amendment. Amendment 1 would lead to the current elected Alabama Board of Education being disbanded and the governor picking board members and a new state education leader to replace the superintendent of education, with confirmation by the Alabama Senate. Gov. Kay Ivey is backing the plan. 

A number of local Republican races are up for grabs, and will likely determine the overall winner for the year, as Democrats have not fielded any local candidates except for Seth L. Diamond for district judge on the Nov. 2 General Election ballot. All Republican winners will be on the November ballot, fighting against write-in votes and any independent candidates who qualify by Tuesday. 

In addition to local races on the Republican ballot, President Donald Trump will face Bill Weld for the Republican presidential nomination - although the president's dominance in Alabama and Walker County is almost a foregone conclusion. Democrats will be fielding a large number of candidates for the presidential race. On both tickets, one will not only vote for president but they will be voting for convention delegates for their candidate. Any delegate who does not match up to the presidential candidate will be voided. 

On the Republican ballot, three Walker County Commission positions are up for grabs. Chairman Jerry Bishop will face opposition by Steve Miller. District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt will face opposition from Martha Salomaa. 

District 3 Commissioner Ralph Williams is not running, leaving James C. "Jim" Borden, Bobby J. Nunnelley, Douglas Michael Pate, and R. Jason Richardson to run for the seats as Republicans. Bill Claghorn has filed papers to run as an independent in District 3, but Probate Judge A. Lee Tucker said Saturday afternoon Claghorn was short of qualified petition names. He has enough Tuesday at 5 p.m. to submit enough names to run.  

Walker County Board of Education Chairman Brad Ingle will face a challenge from Teia Harris for that position. 

Two judicial races are on the ballot. Walker County District Judge Henry Allred is facing a challenge from Sam Bentley for the Place 1 seat, while Circuit Judge Judge Christopher A. Sherer will square off against Joeletta Martin Barrentine, who serves as a municipal judge in three cities. 

State races on the Republican ballot will be headlined by the U.S. Senate race, including Stanley Adair, Bradley Byrne, Arnold Mooney, Roy Moore, Ruth Page Nelson, Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville. The winner will face the incumbent, Democrat Doug Jones in November. 

Other races will include, with "I" for incumbent.:

• Alabama Supreme Court, Place 1: Greg Shaw (I) and Cam Ward.

• Alabama Court of Civil Appeals: Place 2: Phillip Bahakel and Matt Fridy. 

• Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals: Place 1: Melvin Hasting and Mary Windom (I). 

• Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals: Place 2: Jill Ganus, Beth Kellum (I) and Will Smith. 

• Public Service Commission, President: Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (I) and Robin Litaker.

Democrats will have one contested state race for Public Service Commission president between Laura "lower bills, cleaner air and water" Casey and Robert L. Mardis III.   

Voter ID is now required in Alabama during elections and will be requested at the polls. 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. Secretary of State John Merrill said anyone needing a Photo ID can obtain a card even up to the day of the election. 

Also, a voter who is physically disabled or over the age or 70 to move to the front of the line at a polling place upon request of the voter. Any voter can be assisted by anyone except the voter's employer or an agent of the employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union. 

Voters can now take photos of their ballots to show who they voted for, but they cannot take photos of other people. Sample ballots can be used and one can wear political buttons or T-shirts, but sample ballots and political items cannot be left behind. Campaigning can only be done at at least 30 feet from the polling station - although a candidate can assist in marking a ballot. If a mistake is made on a ballot, one can ask a poll worker for another ballot. 

Although the deadline for regular absentee ballots has passed, one may apply for business and medical emergency absentee voting no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election. 

The Secretary of State’s Office can also be reached at 1-800-274-8683 or 334-242-7200.

In addition, the Daily Mountain Eagle's YouTube channel carries a debate for the District 3 race and an interview recorded Friday with Merrill concerning details on how to vote in Alabama