The day many have talked about all year is finally here.
It's Election Day.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Today voters across the country will cast their vote for who they want to become president of the United States. President Donald Trump, who has served the last four years and bested Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race, faces former Vice President Joe Biden who served from 2007 to 2017 alongside former President Barrack Obama.
According to Trump's campaign website, "Trump is working hard to implement his ‘America First’ platform, continuing his promise to the American people to lower taxes, repeal and replace Obamacare, end stifling regulations, protect our borders, keep jobs in our country, take care of our veterans, strengthen our military and law enforcement, and renegotiate bad trade deals, creating a government of, by and for the people."
Trump wants to continue to make America great and make it strong, proud and safe again. His website states he is "the definition of the American success story, setting the standards of excellence in his business endeavors, and now, for the United States of America."
Trump's site allows a viewer to search his accomplishments over the last four years and read about his promises made and kept during his term on economy and jobs; immigration; foreign policy; national security and defense; regulation; land and agriculture; law and justice; energy and environment; government accountability; healthcare; infrastructure and technology; social programs; education; and vetrans.
Biden's website states he will work for all Americans.
"I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president," Biden said. "I will work with Democrats and Republicans and I will work as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. That’s the job of a president. It’s a duty of care for everyone."
Biden's website includes a plan to beat COVID-19 which states he has a "real strategy to take on the threat of COVID-19, deliver immediate relief to working families and reopen our schools and businesses safely."
Biden's website also states he has a recovery plan for America's jobs and economy which will "work for everyone." He wants to give every American affordable healthcare, tackle the climate emergency, support veterans and more. Read his vision and specific plans here.
Voters can also choose independents Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy Cohen.
What else is on the ballot?
Although most all residents are aware of the presidential candidates' names being on today's ballot, many forget there is much more on the stake.
Who should represent Alabama in Washington? That's on the ballot and more.
Locally, voters will have the opportunity to decide on a constitutional amendment affecting Tallapoosa County. The roads in the Willow Point development are not Tallapoosa County roads. If approved, the Tallapoosa County constitutional amendment would allow Willow Point property owners to form their own road maintenance district at no cost to other county residents.
Russell Lands on Lake Martin CEO Tom Lamberth said Russell Lands has performed road maintenance on the approximately 10 miles of roads in the gated community in recent years. Russell Lands built the roads when the development was originally established and now the development is built out.
“We are trying to turn the roads over to the homeowners,” Lamberth said. “It requires a constitutional amendment to start with.”
The amendment is not the only step in the process in creating the road maintenance district.
“The amendment authorizes Willow Point residents to create an organization to maintain the roads,” Lamberth said. “Residents would then form their own independent board and organization. They also decide how to fund and maintain the roads with their funds.”
Lamberth said if the road maintenance district is not passed, Russell Lands would seriously consider giving the roads to Tallapoosa County. But the company has done its part to not saddle a new organization or the county with the need for immediate road improvements.
“We went in and repaved the roads to bring them on to county specifications,” Lamberth said. “We didn’t want anyone to have to do anything with them anytime soon. If the county ends up with the road maintenance, Russell Lands would still maintain the road to the (corporate) offices and Willow Point Country Club.”
In 2016, Craddock said 1,039 absentee ballots were requested and 869 ballots were returned.
Also on Tuesday’s ballot, voters will see a choice for U.S. Senate. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Doug Jones is running against political newcomer Republican opponent Tommy Tuberville. Jones defeated former Alabama Supreme Court justice Roy Moore in a special election to fill the vacancy left by Jeff Sessions upon his appointment to U.S. attorney general. Jones then ran on a campaign of bipartisanship and has led or co-led 22 pieces of bipartisan legislation during his time in office. Jones supports expanding Medicaid, protecting the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called Obamacare), keeping abortion legal and requiring background checks on all gun sales.
Tuberville is the former Auburn University head football coach and is making his first foray into political office. Tuberville believes in protecting individual liberty, lowering taxes and government spending, building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, ending the legality of abortion, preserving second amendment rights and repealing the Affordable Care Act.
For the U.S. Representative Third District, longtime incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Rogers faces Democrat Adia Winfrey. Rogers has served as representative of Alabama’s Third Congressional District since 1994, serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee and is a senior member of the Agriculture and Homeland Security Committees.
Winfrey, a doctor of psychology, is the chair of the Talladega Democratic Party and works in a variety of social justice areas.
In Tallapoosa County, there are no contested local races. On the ballot are Kim Taylor for Tallapoosa County District Judge; Eva Middlebrooks for Tallapoosa County Revenue Commissioner; Raymond Porter for Superintendent of Tallapoosa County Schools; and some Tallapoosa County voters living in the respective district will see Linda Daniel as a candidate for District 5 member of the Tallapoosa County Board of Education.
The only contested statewide race is for president of the public service commission in which incumbent Twinkle Cavanaugh faces Laura Casey.
Uncontested statewide races have Greg Shaw for Supreme Court associate justice Place No. 1; Brad Mendeheim, for Supreme Court associate justice Place No. 2; William Thompson for court of civil appeals judge Place No. 1; Matt Fridy for court of civil appeals judge Place No. 2; Mary Windom for court of criminal appeals judge Place No. 1; and Beth Kellum for court of criminal appeals judge Place No. 2.
Also on the ballot are six statewide amendments to the state constitution.
Amendment 1 would change language providing only a citizen of the U.S. has the right to vote. The state constitution grants the right to vote to U.S. citizens who meet certain requirements. This amendment does not change those requirements. If a majority of voters vote “yes” for Amendment 1, the state constitution will grant the right to vote to “only” those U.S. citizens who meet the requirements. If a majority of voters vote “no” for Amendment 1, the state constitution will continue to grant the right to vote to “every” U.S. citizen who meets the requirements.
Amendment 2 deals with how judicial officials across the state are appointed. This amendment proposes six changes to the state’s judicial system. In summary, this amendment: provides that county district courts do not have to hold city court in a city with a population of less than 1,000; allows the Alabama Supreme Court, rather than the Chief Justice, to appoint the Administrative Director of Courts; increases from 9 to 11 the total membership of the Judicial Inquiry Commission and determines who appoints each member (the Judicial Inquiry Commission evaluates ethics complaints filed against judges); allows the Governor, rather than the Lieutenant Governor, to appoint a member of the Court of the Judiciary (the Court of the Judiciary hears complaints filed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission); prevents a judge from being automatically disqualified from holding office simply because a complaint was filed with the Judiciary Inquiry Commission; and provides that a judge can be removed from office only by the Court of the Judiciary.
Amendment 3 changes the initial term of a judge that is appointed to fill a vacancy due to death, resignation, retirement or removal. The current law and this proposed amendment do not apply to probate judges. If the majority of the voters vote “yes” on Amendment 3, the initial appointment to fill a judicial vacancy will last until the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January after two years of service before a general election to fill the judicial office.
Amendment 4, if approved, allows the state legislature to recompile the state constitution and present it during the 2022 regular session before ratification by voters. This draft could only (1) remove racist language, (2) remove language that is repeated or no longer applies, (3) combine language related to economic development, and (4) combine language that relates to the same county. No other changes could be made.
Amendment 5 relates only to Franklin County and provides a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions. Amendment 6 is the same as Amendment 5, but for Lauderdale County.