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Maddox wants early voting and automatic voter registration

Democratic nominee for governor Walt Maddox announced that he supports instituting early voting and automatic registration of voters when they file for their automobile license plates.

“Voting is the most important way a citizen contributes to democracy, so we should strengthen Alabama by doing everything we can to improve voter participation,” Maddox said.

“Considering Alabama’s dismal rate of voter registration, low turnout of those who are registered, and the fact that the winner only gets a little more than half the votes in any given race, the truth is that only about 10 percent of our state’s population will actually decide who our state’s next leaders will be,” Maddox continued. “We’re doing what we can to get out the vote on November 6th, but for elections in years to follow we need more forward looking ways to improve citizen participation.”

“I support efforts to increase voter participation through two important initiatives: automatic voter registration and early voting,” Maddox stated. “By implementing automatic registration for citizens when they turn eighteen, we assure that young adults hit the ground running in meeting their civic responsibility to participate in elections. This would give every eligible individual the registered voter status his or her citizenship should earn automatically.”

“We must also join the majority of states and implement early voting,” Maddox continued. “The idea of a single twelve hour period in which we vote for the state’s most important offices is outdated and counterproductive. We can debate whether it should be a period of one week or one month leading up to Election Day – the average is around 20 days – but what’s not debatable is that early voting is proven to increase voter turnout.”

Thursday is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot. It is too late to register for this election. There is no early voting in Alabama and no electronic voting. In order to participate in the general election, you must be a registered voter, you must have a valid photo-ID, and you must vote at the polling place which you are assigned.

Maddox is the Mayor of Tuscaloosa. He is challenging incumbent Kay Ivey (R). Ivey was elevated to governor in April 2017 when Governor Robert Bentley resigned.

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The polls open on Tuesday at 7:00 am and closes at 7:00 pm.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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