In eighteen days, we will go to the polls. I know that many of us are transfixed by the Trump-Clinton debacle that we see on the TV and on social media, but in Alabama we have other important matters to consider, too. In addition to the presidential race, Alabamians have a whole plethora of offices and amendments to vote on. There are fourteen statewide amendments, as well as twenty amendments pertaining to specific counties.
First and foremost, if you are not registered to vote, you have four days to get registered. The deadline is October 24, if you want to vote in the November election.
Second, please read the amendments that will be on the ballot before you walk into the polling place. Subjects range from Auburn University’s Board of Trustees to funding for State Parks. Two especially important amendments are numbers eleven and fourteen, which deal with the powers of local government. Montgomery’s and Huntsville’s mayors have both endorsed voting Yes on number eleven. Also, number two will prevent the state legislature from shifting money from State Parks to other items in the General Fund, effectively saving many parks that are sources of local revenue . . . and local pride.
Sadly, this ballot has a lot of candidates running unopposed: statewide, three Supreme Court justices and the Public Service Commission president, and in Montgomery, four circuit court judges and five county commissioners— all facing no more opposition than a write-in blank. However, one of those running unopposed in Montgomery is our DA, Daryl Bailey, who does an excellent job, and I truly am glad to know he’ll return to that office.
For other information related to specific matters, like polling places and sample ballots, the Secretary of State’s Alabama Votes website is very helpful and easy to use. Our tax dollars are spent in creating this resource so we can go to the polls informed. It’s a damn shame not to use it!
I realize that studying constitutional amendments proposals is far less entertaining than listening to arguments over Donald Trump’s sexual exploits, but it is far more meaningful. In the long run, Trump’s shenanigans won’t move Alabama one inch forward, but some of these candidates and amendments might.
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