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Election to draw big turnout

Published 11:37am Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A presidential campaign that has the incumbent and challenger running neck-to-neck and a hotly contested wet-dry battle have Hartselle and Morgan County voters primed for a heavy turnout at the General Election on Tues., Nov. 6. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We’re seeing people waiting in line for absentee ballots,” said Morgan County Probate Judge Greg Cain. “The Circuit Clerk’s Office had received requests for more than 1,400 absentee ballots as of Oct. 25 and the demand is expected to continue at that level or higher through Nov. 1. Everything is pointing to a heavy voter turnout.”

Cain said 78 percent of the county’s 66,000 registered voters cast ballots in the 2010 General Election. Since that time 4,000 voters have been added, bringing the total to about 70,000.

A high profile wet-dry referendum in Hartselle is also drawing in a higher than usual number of absentee voters, according to City Clerk/Controller Rita Lee.

“We’ve received 99 requests for absentee ballots so far,” she said on Oct. 25, “and I expect more to come in before the deadline on Nov. 1.

“Since Hartselle voters will be required to register twice in order to vote in both the General Election and wet-dry referendum, it means voting will take more time than usual,” Lee pointed out. “We’re asking people to be patient while they waiting to vote.

The same situation will be facing Priceville voters since a wet-dry referendum will be conducted there as well.

Cain said he expects the election to run smoothly even though the crowds may be heavier than usual at times. He reminded voters that they would be able to vote a straight party ticket or pick and choose between party nominees. He also pointed out that a voter is able to vote a straight party ballot and still be able to vote for a nominee of the other party.

Leading off the ballot for President and Vice President are Democrat incumbents President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challengers former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. Independent candidates are Virgil H. Goode Jr. and James N. Clymer, Gary Johnson and Jim Gray and Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala.

In addition, competition exists for one U.S. Congress seat, two state offices, two circuit court judgeships and a court clerk position.

There will also be 11 Proposed State Constitutional Amendments on the ballot.

Incumbent Mo Brooks, a Republican, is opposed by Charlie L Holley, a Democrat, for U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District.

Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Rob Vance are candidates for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Democrat Martin Steelmon and Republican Chris Priest are candidates for Morgan County Circuit Clerk.

Candidates for President, Alabama Public Service Commission, are Lucy Baxley, Democrat and Republican Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.

Incumbent Glenn Thompson, a Democrat, is opposed by BR “Buzz” Brown, a Republican, for Circuit Court Judge, 8th Judicial Circuit, and Place No. 2.

Republican Jennifer Millwee Howell is running against incumbent Sherrie W. Paler, a Democrat, for Circuit Court Judge, 8th Judicial Circuit, and Place No. 1.

Listed on the ballot as Republican Party nominees without opposition are the following: Associate Justices of the Supreme Court: Place 1, Tommy Bryan; Place 2, Lyn Stuart; Place 3, Glenn Murdock;

Court of Civil Appeals Judge: Place 1, Craig Pittman; Place 2, Terry Willingham Thomas; Place 3, Terry A. Moore;

Court of Criminal Appeals: Place 1, Sam Welch; Place 2, Liles Burke; Place 3, J, Michael Joiner;

Circuit Judge, 8th Judicial District, Place 3, Steven E. Haddock;

Morgan County Judge of Probate: Greg Cain, a Republican;

Morgan County Commission: Place 3, Republican Don Stisher and Place 4, Greg Abercrombie, a Republican; Morgan County School Board: Place 1, Republican Billy J. Rhodes; and Place 5, Republican Jimmy Dobbs.

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