WINSTON COUNTY - The last day a person could qualify to be a political candidate for either of the major political parties for the March 3, 2020 primary elections was Friday, Nov. 8, as both candidates and voters are urged to keep in mind several important points in the coming months.
Republican candidates who have qualified for local races in Winston County include:
Commission Chairman - Roger Hayes:
Revenue Commissioner - Sandra Wright;
Coroner: Larry Gilliland (incumbent) and Tracey Yealock;
Winston County Schools Superintendent - Greg Pendley;
Winston BOE District 1 (Haleyville) - Mark Finley;
Winston BOE District 2 (Lynn - Joey Boteler;
Winston BOE District 3 (Double Springs) - Allin Bailey;
Winston BOE District 4 (Addison) - Randy Lee;
Winston BOE District 5 (Arley) - Lamar Frith;
Constables will also be up for election and/or re-election in 2020. Candidates who qualified on the Republican ticket are:
Mark Farris - precinct 1;
Albert Brown Jr. - precinct 3;
Barry Cox - precinct 7;
Christopher Farris - precinct 8;
Rutger Hyche - precinct 9;
Joshua Riddle - precinct 11;
James Patrick Howse - precinct 12;
Keith Humphries - precinct 13;
Jeff Massey - precinct 13;
Gregory Howse - precinct 15;
Brandon Denson - precinct 16;
James Mathews - precinct 18/
Nationally, Republican candidates who qualified are as follows:
President: Donald J. Trump, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and Bill Weld;
U.S. Senate: Stanley Adair, Bradley Byrne, John H. Merrill, Arnold Mooney, Roy Moore, Ruth Page Nelson, Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville;
U.S. House of Representatives 4th Congressional District: Robert Aderholt;
Alabama Supreme Court Place 1: Greg Shaw, Bryan Taylor and Cam Ward;
Alabama Supreme Court Place 2: Brad Mendheim;
Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Place 1: William C. “Bill” Thompson;
Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Place 2: Phillip Bahakel and Matt Fridy;
Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Place 1: Melvin Hasting and Mary Windom;
Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2: Jill Ganus, Beth Kellum and Will Smith
Public Service Commission President: Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Robin Litaker;
State Board of Education Place 7: Belinda Palmer McRae;
Circuit Court Judge Place 1: Daryl Burt.
Those who have qualified on the Democratic ticket include the following persons for the following offices:
President: Michael Bennet, Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang;
U.S. Senate: Doug Jones;
U.S. House of Representatives 4th Congressional District: Rick Neighbors.
Public Service Commission President: Laura Casey and Robert L. Mardis III.
Winston County Probate Judge Sheila Moore noted it is never too early to begin thinking of important deadlines ahead of the primary election.
“For this election, don’t wait to the last minute to do anything,” Moore pointed out.
Moore explained why the primary is being held in March instead of June, as has been common in the past.
“It’s a presidential primary preference,” Moore stated. “They always have those in March. When it’s a presidential election, that’s always in March.”
If a run-off election is required after the primary, it will be held four weeks later instead of six weeks, as has been done in the past, Moore further explained. This will put the run-off election on Tuesday, March 31, Moore added.
“The legislators changed that,” she said. “Other states have four weeks instead of six weeks.”
Those who have not registered to vote need to go by the Board of Registrars office in the county where they reside and complete an application so they will be ready for the March 3, primary, Moore indicated.
The deadline to register to vote for the primary will be February 14, 2020, Moore stated.
Also, if a registered voter has changed his or her address, he or she needs to go by the registrar’s office so workers can make note of the change for their records.
Voters or those needing to register to vote need to contract the Winston County Board of Registrars at 205-489-3966. Those needing to vote can also go online at www.sos.alabama.gov., Moore pointed out.
Applications are available not only at the registrar’s office, but also at the Winston County Health Department or the Winston County Probate Office.
“When renewing your driver’s license, you can register to vote,” Moore said. “If you need to change your voting place when you are renewing your driver’s license, we can change that for you there. You don’t have to see the registrars.”
A test of the county’s voting machines will be Feb. 26, at 8 a.m. in the basement of the Winston County Courthouse annex, Moore informed.
When qualified voters go to the polls on March 3, they must indicate whether they will be voting Republican or Democrat and must show a form of picture ID in order to receive a ballot, Moore explained.
“When or if we have a run-off, then you have to vote that same type of ballot,“ she pointed out. “You can’t cross vote. You can’t vote a Democrat ballot in a primary and a Republican ballot in the run-off.”
Sample ballots should be printed and available by January, according to Moore.
“People are going to wait until the holiday season is over,” Moore said. “Around the start of January is when it is going to start kicking off. You are going to hear a lot more about the deadlines, and you are going to see sample ballots.”
“Just make sure that if your name is not on the voters’ list that is in the paper that you contact the board of registrars to see why your name is not on there,” Moore noted. That list should be published by January.
“Don’t make it harder on the polling officials when you go in to vote,” she stressed.
Absentee voting rules
On Jan. 8, the Winston County Circuit Clerk’s Office will begin receive their supplies for voting absentee, noted Absentee Election Manager and Winston County Circuit Clerk J.D. Snoddy.
Applications to vote absentee can be picked up at the circuit clerk’s office. People who will be out of the county on election day need to send in the completed application along with a copy of their photo ID, Snoddy said.
An application to vote absentee can also be found on the Alabama Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.alabama.gov.
“They can either come into the office and vote or we can mail (the application) out,” Snoddy said. “We want to make that service available.”
The last day a person can make application for an absentee ballot is Feb. 27, Snoddy said.
Snoddy said everyone should exercise their right to vote.
“It’s an opportunity to have direct participation in your government,” Snoddy said. “You get to choose the leaders of your county, state and national government. You have a voice. Go vote and exercise your right.”
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.