By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Today is the day that Alabama selects its new U.S. senator to replace Jeff Sessions. Sessions vacated the seat months ago to be President Donald J. Trump’s Attorney General. In addition to the Senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore, there will also be major party primary elections in State House District 4 and state Senate District 26.
The hypermedia attention and the vitriol on social media is possibly drawing many voters to the polls that normally only vote in Presidential elections, if then. In order to be sure that your vote is counted you need to remember to bring your photo ID with you when you go to the polls. The State of Alabama has a law that requires that you show a valid photo ID in order to get to participate in the election process.
Forms of photo ID accepted at the polls are any of the following documents: driver’s license; Alabama photo voter ID card; State issued ID (any state); federal issued ID; US passport; employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board, or other entity of this state; student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools); Military ID; or Tribal ID.
Persons without a valid photo ID can get an Alabama photo voter ID card for free from their Board of Registrars.
To apply for the free Alabama photo voter ID, a voter must show: a photo ID document or a non-photo identity document that contains full legal name and date of birth; documentation showing the voter’s date of birth; documentation showing the person is a registered voter; and documentation showing the voter’s name and address as reflected in the voter registration record. A citizen’s name, address, and voter registration status can be verified by the Secretary of State’s Staff, using the statewide voter registration system.
Examples of non-photo ID documents that can be used in applying for a free Alabama photo voter ID card include a birth certificate, marriage record, Social Security Administration document, hospital or nursing home record, Medicare or Medicaid document, or an official school record or transcript.
The State of Alabama does not have same day voter registration so if you are not already registered to vote, you likely will not be able to. The deadline to get registered for this election has passed. If you are registered to vote, and moved but still live in the state of Alabama but did not update your registration; you will have to go back to where you were assigned to vote when you lived at your old address.
If voters want to verify the address of their polling location the correct website is:
Alabama does not have any online voting. You have to physically go to the polling place where you are assigned in order to participate in the election.
Alabama’s new law against crossover voting does not apply to this election because it is a general election. If you voted in the Democratic primary in August you are free to vote for either Roy Moore or Doug Jones. Similarly if you voted in the Republican you can vote for either major party candidate.
If you do not like Jones or Moore you may write in a candidate. Be sure to spell that candidate’s name properly and put the name on the proper space for a write in. You can also vote straight Republican or straight Democratic,
Voters located in parts of Morgan and Limestone County, and in Montgomery, will have an additional race to vote for when they head to the polls on Dec. 12 to vote in the special general election for U.S. Senate.
Voters that reside in state House District 4 and Senate District 26 have two elections today. They will take the first step in determining who will represent them in Montgomery in the state House of Representatives and the state Senate, respectively.
“All voters who wish to participate in the two elections will be required to check in, receive their ballot, vote, and turn their completed ballot into the machine designated for the U.S. Senate Special General Election and then will be required to separately check in, receive their ballot, vote, and turn their completed ballot into the machine designated the State House primary election,” Merrill said.
“This uncommon practice and process of separate elections is required because the two elections are separate and unrelated and are at different stages requiring different information to be recorded,” Merrill said. “The Alabama State House races require different sets of poll workers to document the voters party affiliation however no party affiliation is required or documented for the U.S. Senate Special General Election.”
House District 4 will be having a primary to fill the remainder of state Rep. Mickey Hammon’s (R-Decatur) term. Hammon pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations.
State Senate District 26 will be having a primary to fill the remainder of state Sen. Quinton Ross’s (D-Montgomery) term. Ross resigned from his post to accept a job as the president of Alabama State University.
The five candidates who are running for the Senate District 26 seat in the special Democratic primary include: Tony Cobb Jr., state Representative John Knight, David Burkette, Deborah Anthony and Montgomery City Councilman Fred Bell.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican D.J. Johnson in the special general election. There is no Republican primary, as only one candidate qualified. If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, plus one in the Democratic primary, there will be a special Democratic primary runoff.
In House District Four the only Democrat who qualified was Juanita Allen Heally so there will be no need for a special Democratic Primary today. Republicans Tom Fredricks, Parker Moore, and Tom Wilson will have a special Republican primary today.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Heally on February 28. If there needs to be party runoff in either House District 4 or Senate District 26 it will be on February 27 and the special general election will be on May 15.
The polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.
Check alreporter.com for election results.