Voting day

Dothan residents enter the Houston-Love Memorial Library to cast their vote in 2014.

Alabamians can have their voices heard Tuesday during the primary and constitutional amendment election.

During Tuesday’s primary election, voters will not only vote for their candidate for president of the United States, but several state and local candidates as well.

Will Tuesday go down in history for having a huge turnout of voters during the 2020 primary election? It depends on whom one asks. Houston County Probate Judge Patrick Davenport believes Houston County will have a good turnout of voters, while Henry County Probate Judge David Money believes voting will be slim.

“I believe Houston County will have a strong turnout Tuesday,” Davenport said. “I believe the potential for a strong turnout is due to interest on the ballot from both parties.”

Money, on the other hand, is basing his prediction on the results from the absentee applications in Henry County.

“From the latest results I have received, the absentee applications are down from past primary elections,” he said. “Plus, we only have one contested local race in Henry County, and that’s the Board of Education District 2. The remaining contested races are state and national. I believe our turnout rate will be down, but I hope I am wrong.”

Money believes voting numbers will increase if voters know changes have been implemented in Henry County to make voting quicker.

“We have roughly 100 poll workers who have trained to work during the upcoming election, and we have the iPad registration down pat,” he said. “Hopefully, by voters knowing voting can be quick and easy, more voters will come out Tuesday.”

Both judges believe the Amendment 1 added to the ballot will not draw out voters alone. However, those voting on other races will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the amendment while voting.

Amendment 1 renames the State Board of Education the Alabama Commission on elementary and secondary education and would change board seats from elected to positions appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

Davenport and Money also agree on reminding registered voters that voting is a privilege, and it’s a privilege that was fought hard far.

Both men believe several elections have been won or lost by a mere handful of votes.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill believes that statewide, Alabama will have a strong turnout for Tuesday’s primary election, predicting a 30 to 35 percent turnout.

Merrill reminds voters to confirm they are registered to vote. Voters also need to know whom they are voting for, he said.

“Be informed on those who are on the ballot and make an educated vote,” Merrill said. “Remember, in order to have your vote heard, your vote must be counted.”

For an up-to-date listing of polling locations, visit your county website or for voting information.

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