Special election will choose nominees for Senate

Published 12:40 am Saturday, July 15, 2017

Absentee ballots available

As the Aug. 15 special primary election for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat nears, so does the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot.

8 Democrat, 10 GOP candidates for U.S. Senate

The special election will choose the party nominees for the seat vacated by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions – or at least narrow the playing field.

There are eight contenders for the Democratic nomination and 10 candidates for the Republican nomination. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the votes cast plus one vote, there will be a run-off between the top two candidates in each party on Sept. 26. The General Election will be Dec. 12.

Gov. Kay Ivey set the dates in April, shortly after taking office, in contrast to the path planned by then-Gov. Robert Bentley, who appointed former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate. Bentley intended for Strange to fill what was left of Sessions’ term.

But Ivey said, “The law… clearly states the people should vote for a U.S. Senator as soon as possible,” and moved the election forward.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Thurs., Aug. 10, and in Covington County, Circuit Clerk Amy Jones is the absentee election manager.


A person is eligible to vote absentee if he or she:

  • Will be absent from the county on election day
  • Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place
  • Is a registered Alabama voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person.
  • Works a required shift, 10 hours or more, that coincides with polling hours.

Absentee ballot request forms are available online at the Secretary of State’s website, and from the circuit clerk’s office. The Star-News also has posted the form to its website, along with this story. The form can be mailed to Jones at 1-K N Court Square Andalusia, AL 36420.

Absentee ballots may be cast by mail, or in person at the circuit clerk’s office.

This year, crossover voting has been prohibited. As in the past, a voter must specify if he or she wishes to vote either Republican or Democrat in the primary. However, a voter may not change parties in the event of a runoff election.