Lately voters locally have enjoyed a respite from the stress and strain of elections.
In Columbus, they still have time to relax: They won’t return to the polls until May 2018. Not so in Alabama, where voters Tuesday are to sift through 18 candidates for the U.S. Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become attorney general.
Eight are Democrats, and 10 are Republicans.
The Democrats are Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason E. Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy Jr., Brian McGee and Charles Nana.
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The Republicans are James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Dom Gentile, Mary Maxwell, Roy S. Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman and Luther Strange.
Most Russell County polls will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, except for precincts in Dixie, Hurtsboro and Hatchechubbee, which like Lee County operate on Central Time and list their hours as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. But of course that means all the precincts will be open the same hours, just in different time zones.
Probate Judge Alford Harden said no Russell County voting precinct has changed since one shifted last year from Phenix City’s National Guard Armory across the street to Golden Acres Baptist Church, 3614 S. Railroad St.
The move was prompted by renovations at the armory, he said: “The armory’s not complete yet.” Now the shift’s likely to stick, because negotiating with the armory was problematic, he said: “The church welcomes us with open arms.”
No voting precinct will have a full crew of poll workers Tuesday, he said: “They’ll be minimally staffed.” A low turnout’s expected for this late-summer special election. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill projects a turnout of 20 to 25 percent. A typical primary turnout would 30-32 percent, Merrill told the Associated Press.
Residents should remember that like Georgia, Alabama requires voters to show a photo ID before they can cast ballots.
Tuesday’s election is a party primary in which voters must choose a Democratic or Republican ballot. A Sept. 26 primary runoff is likely because no candidate’s expected to win a majority with so many running.
The final, general election between the two party nominees will be Dec. 12, Harden said.
Because Alabama is a solid-red Republican state, those thought to be the leading contenders are the three GOP candidates with the most name recognition: Congressman Mo Brooks, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, and former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, whom then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed to replace Sessions.
Some Phenix City voters will be making at least one more trip to the polls this year: District 2 Councilman Johnnie Robinson Jr. died Aug. 3, leaving a vacant seat to be filled by a special election, the date for which has not yet been determined, said City Clerk Charlotte Sierra.
Mayor Eddie Lowe will announce the election date, she said.
ALABAMA’S DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR U.S. SENATE
Jason E. Fisher
Robert Kennedy Jr.
ALABAMA’S REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOR U.S. SENATE
James Paul Beretta
Joseph F. Breault
Roy S. Moore
RUSSELL COUNTY VOTING PRECINCTS
Roy Martin Center, 1100 Airport Road, Phenix City.
Ladonia Volunteer Fire Department, 3855 U.S. Highway W., Phenix City.
Central Activities Building, 1500 14th St., Phenix City.
Golden Acres Baptist Church, 3614 S. Railroad St., Phenix City.
Russell County Courthouse, 1000 Broad St., Phenix City.
Claude Parkman Building, Prentiss Griffith Drive, Phenix City.
Spencer Recreation Center, 400 Eighth Ave. S., Phenix City.
Fort Mitchell Community Center, 870 Alabama Highway 165, Fort Mitchell.
Chattahoochee Valley Community College gym, 2602 College Drive, Phenix City.
Crawford Volunteer Fire Department, 6 Alabama Highway 169 S., Phenix City.
Dixie Volunteer Fire Department, 15 Lamb Road, Opelika, Ala.
Cottonton Volunteer Fire Department, 1835 Alabama Highway 165, Cottonton.
Pittsview Volunteer Fire Department, 5741 U.S. Highway 431 S., Pittsview.
Old Russell County Courthouse, 5 Jackson St., Seale.
Hatchechubbee Volunteer Fire Department, 495 Blanding Road, Hatchechubbee.
Hurtsboro City Volunteer Fire Department, 405 Daniel St., Hurtsboro.
Austin Sumbry Park, 3999 U.S. Highway 431 S., Phenix City.
Absentee votes are counted as a separate precinct.
Provisional ballots are counted as a separate precinct.