Politics & Government
6:52 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Polls Open in Alabama for Primary Election

Control of the Alabama Legislature could be up for grabs as voters head to the polls for the party primaries.

The incumbent Republican supermajority faces a slate of challengers from within the GOP. A shakeup in membership could change who is named to legislative leadership positions as well as the policy directions for the next four years.

Credit Vox Efx / Flickr

House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston both face opposition Tuesday. The Alabama Education Association and the Stop Common Core political action committee have funded many of the challengers.

Challengers say the current GOP majority has short-changed tea party voters and failed to live up to 2010 campaign promises to change Montgomery. Marsh said many of the challengers are RINOs, or Republicans in name only.

A Republican fight to succeed retiring Rep. Spencer Bachus in the 6th District highlights Alabama's congressional primaries.

Incumbent Reps. Mike Rogers of Anniston, Mo Brooks of Huntsville and Terri Sewell of Birmingham each face poorly financed challengers in primary races Tuesday. That makes upsets seem unlikely.

But a runoff is almost certain in the seven-person race in the 6th District, in which each candidate sought to portray himself as conservative and the most eager to fight President Barack Obama.

The 6th District is composed of all or parts of six counties in central Alabama. It includes the heavily populated suburbs surrounding Birmingham and stretches into rural areas north and south of the metro area.

Bachus announced last year he wouldn't seek re-election after 11 terms.

Some of the hottest races in Alabama's primary election are happening down the ballot.

The lack of an incumbent for secretary of state has drawn three Republican hopefuls. State Rep. John Merrill of Tuscaloosa, Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue and former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney are competing for the GOP nomination.

Republican Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn has multiple challengers. Dunn was viewed as a potentially vulnerable incumbent after unsuccessfully pushing for formal hearings on utility rates. Media company owner Jonathan Barbee, former Greene County Commission Chairman Chip Beeker and Alabama Minority GOP Chairman Phillip Brown are challenging Dunn.

Primary voters will also cast ballots for party nominations for lieutenant governor, state auditor, another seat on the PSC and seats on the state school board.

More than 700,000 Alabama voters are expected at the polls Tuesday for the first election where voters will be required to show a photo ID.

Alabama's chief election official, Jim Bennett, is predicting that 25 percent to 27 percent of Alabama's 2.8 million registered voters will turn out for the primary election. That's down from 32 percent four years ago, when both parties had hotly contested races for governor.

This is the first election where voters have to show a photo ID. That can include a driver's license, non-driver ID, Alabama voter ID or passport.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any primary races not decided on Tuesday will advance to a runoff July 15.

You can find your polling place by visiting alabamavotes.gov