After weeks of anticipation, voters in Phenix City finally will head to the polls Tuesday to choose from nearly two dozen candidates in the municipal election. Polls open at 7 a.m. EDT and close at 7 p.m. EDT, though voters in line at closing time will be allowed to cast their ballots, election officials said.
Voters are reminded to bring a form of identification, and have been encouraged to verify their polling place in light of redistricting changes that affect the city election but not the General Election in November. The city notified affected voters, and has also provided district maps and address lists on its website, www.phenixcityal.us.
Any voter unclear about where to vote can call the City Clerk's Office at 334-448-2701. Russell County Probate Judge Alford M. Harden Jr., who is assisting City Clerk Charlotte Sierra with election preparations, recommended voters call with any questions on Monday instead of waiting until Election Day.
"The biggest confusion that we have is between the county and state elections and the city," Harden said. "Some people get confused because they vote in one place with me in the county and state election (in November) and another place in the city."
Residents in District 1, which includes the north side of town, should vote at the Roy Martin Activity Center, 1100 Airport Road. The precinct in District 2, the city's mid-section, is the Central Activities Center, 1500 14th Street.
District 3 voters, who live on the city's south side, will go to the Spencer Recreation Center, 400 8th Avenue South, to cast their ballots. Acceptable forms of identification can be found online at the Alabama Secretary of State's website, www.sos.state.al.us/elections/VoterID.aspx.
Of the approximately 17,000 registered voters, Sierra said she expects between 7,000 and 10,000 to cast their ballots. In 2008, about 7,000 votes were counted.
"I think it's going to be at least what it was on the last election," Sierra said, "even with bad weather if we have some rain come in."
Sierra said about 350 absentee ballots have been mailed out, fewer than in the past two election cycles.
With such a large field of candidates, many races are expected to require a runoff, which is scheduled for Oct. 9. All four City Council contests have three or more candidates, and the mayoral election is a four-man race.
The candidates for mayor are Antonio Carter, Eddie Lowe, Johnnie C. Robinson Jr. and Max Wilkes. Vying for councilman at-large are Chris Blackshear, Johnny Barfield and Jimmy Wetzel, the incumbent.
In District 1 they are: Steve Bailey, Jim Cannon, Norman K. Cook, Keith Ingram and Billy Sims II; in District 2: Billy Ray Alexander, Gail Norris Head, Cecil "Woody" McLemore and Michelle E. Walker, the incumbent; in District 3: Arthur L. Day Jr., Frankie J. Horace, Eunice J. Patrick, Arttie Pontez Sumbry and Clementine Warren.