This is an election year, and the first big date on the calendar is March 3. There are several federal, state and county offices on the ballot that day, including the U.S. Presidential race and U.S. Senate race.
March 3 is the primary election, so you’ll choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot and select your choices for that party. If a runoff is needed for any of the races, that will happen on March 31, and the winners would then advance to the November general election. You can only vote in the same party’s primary runoff – for example, if you choose the Democratic ballot on March 3, you can only vote in the Democratic primary runoff. Similarly, if you vote Republican on March 3, you’ll only be able to vote in the Republican runoff on March 31. Alabama does not allow ‘crossover voting’ – switching from one party to the other, between the primary and the runoff.
If you’re new to Alabama or haven’t registered to vote yet, you have until February 17 to do so. Also, if you’re going to be unable to vote on March 3, you can cast an absentee ballot. To obtain an absentee ballot, visit madisoncountyvotes.com or call 256-532-3684. Madison County’s absentee election office, which is run by Circuit Clerk Debra Kizer, is already open at the courthouse for people who need to absentee vote. February 27 is the last day to turn in your absentee ballot application for the primary, so apply early – don’t wait until the last day.
On March 3, you’ll see the U.S. Presidential race and U.S. Senate race on your ballot, as well as state judicial and state board of education races, in addition to others. There is also a statewide referendum asking voters to consider an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to change the name of the State Board of Education to the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education, and to change the same board from an elected body, to one that is appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
We encourage you to vote on March 3. You can also visit alabamavotes.gov for more information, including sample ballots, updated information on your polling place, or to register to vote.
By Claire Aiello
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber