Voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide a number of items, including the most obvious — president of the United States. Record numbers of Tallapoosa County voters have already cast ballots.
But what else is on the ballot and what other information do voters need to know ahead of Tuesday’s General Election?
There is only one item left for voters to decide as other issues were taken care of in the primaries. 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.”
Tallapoosa County circuit clerk Patrick Craddock said only 296 of 2,080 requested absentee ballots were still outstanding as of noon Friday.
“That is most I’ve seen,” Craddock said. “It easily is more than the absentee ballots from the last presidential election in 2016.”
In 2016, Craddock said 1,039 absentee ballots were requested and 869 ballots were returned. With nearly 300 absentee ballots still outstanding, Craddock said voters have until Monday afternoon to return the ballots in person to the circuit clerk’s office at the Tallapoosa County Courthouse in Dadeville or mail.
“There are not going to be sitting at the post office,” Craddock said. “We will check every day at the noon deadline on Tuesday to make sure all absentee ballots are counted.”
All of the debates for president and vice president have included candidates from only the Democrat and Republican parties. But there are actually three choices for voters. The Democrat Party has selected Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris while the Republican Party has chosen incumbent President Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Voters can also choose independents Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy Cohen.
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 five 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.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Below is a listing of polling places in Tallapoosa County:
• Alexander City Housing Authority
2166 County Road Alexander City
• Cooper Recreation Center
625 Martin Luther King Boulevard Alexander City
• Duncan Memorial Community Center
4021 Hillabee Road Alexander City
• Our Town Volunteer Fire Department
2350 Willow Point Road Alexander City
• The Mill Two Eighty, the old Russell Retail Store on Highway 280
• Alexander City Fire Station 2 at Lake Hill
209 Adams Circle Alexander City
• Hillabee Baptist Church
1781 Hialeah Circle Alexander City
• Pearson Chapel Church
3122 Pearson Chapel Road Alexander City
• Hackneyville Volunteer Fire Department
Highway 63 North Alexander City
• Rocky Creek Baptist Church
7779 Sanford Road Alexander City
• New Site Town Hall
12791 Highway 22 East New Site
• Dadeville Recreation Center
600 East Columbus Street Dadeville
• Manoy Voting House
1176 Youngs Ferry Road
• New Paces Point Volunteer Fire Department
9422 County Road 34
• Union Community Building
4191 Highway 50 Dadeville
• Sardis Community Building
10367 Highway 50 Dadeville
• Reeltown Volunteer Fire Department
4084 Highway 120 Notasulga
• Tallassee City Hall
3 Freeman Avenue Tallassee
• Wall Street Community Center
415 Wall Street Tallassee
• Pentecost United Methodist Church
3665 Churchill Road Camp Hill
• Mary’s Cross Road Voting House
17374 Highway 50 Camp Hill
• Tallapoosa County Career Tech Center
251 Martin Luther King Street Camp Hill
• Fellowship Baptist Church
1731 Buttston Road Dadeville