Vote 2012 / Alabama Secretary of State

Alabama's voter turnout for Tuesday's election was slightly less than the unusually high performance four years ago.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman said Wednesday the turnout for the general election was 72.4 percent. More than 73 percent of Alabama's voters participated in 2008. Chapman had forecast the turnout would fall between 72 percent and 74 percent.

The 2008 figure remains the highest since Alabama recorded a 76 percent turnout in the 1992 presidential race, according to figures compiled by the secretary of state's office.

Four of the justices who served on the Alabama Supreme Court with former Chief Justice Roy Moore are among 10 bipartisan former and current justices who have signed a letter endorsing Moore's opponent in the Nov. 6 chief justice election.

Moore's opponent in the chief justice race, Democrat Bob Vance, held a news conference Tuesday in front of the Alabama Judicial Building to release the letter.

As the November 6th elections draw near, APR News is taking a closer look at each of Alabama's congressional districts to understand what issues voters in those areas have on their minds leading into next month. This week, we take a look at Alabama's 4th Congressional District, which stretches from East to West Alabama and include the cities of Gadsden and Jasper. Doctor Larry Powell is an expert on political communications, political ads and polling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He says there have been fewer campaign ads for both local and national races this year.

Voters in four Alabama counties will begin the process Tuesday of filling two vacant seats in the Alabama House.

Voters in some towns in Baldwin and Mobile counties are headed to the polls to wrap up municipal elections delayed by Hurricane Isaac.

The election was originally scheduled for Aug. 28 but got pushed back to Sept. 11 because of the bad weather. That delayed the runoffs from Oct. 9 to Tuesday.

State of Alabama

The political consulting firm that helped Robert Bentley win the governor's office is now helping persuade voters to give him more money to lure jobs to Alabama. Bentley is appearing in TV ads urging voters to vote yes on Amendment 2 in the election Nov. 6. The ads were done by Dresner Wickers Barber Sanders. That's a San Francisco firm that helped get across Bentley's message in 2010 that he would not draw a salary as governor until he got Alabama's high unemployment rate down to normal levels.

Expert Infantry / Flickr

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman says absentee ballots for military and overseas voters went out late from 22 counties and an extra 10 days is being provided for the return of the ballots. Chapman said federal law gives military and overseas voters 45 days to receive and return their absentee ballots. But not all ballots requested by the Sept. 22 deadline were sent out on time. She is extending the deadline for election officials to receive the ballots by 10 days to Nov. 16. But the ballots must be postmarked or given to a commercial carrier by Nov. 5.

Maryland GovPics / Flickr

Amendment 7 on Alabama's ballot looks like a simple measure to preserve the right to a secret ballot. In reality, it injects voters into a battle between labor and management. The ballot measure provides that Alabama citizens have a fundamental right to vote for public office and employee representation by secret ballot. If passed, it would prohibit unions from organizing by card check, where they get more than half of the employees at a company to check a box on a card saying they want union representation. The sponsor, Republican Rep.

A description of the 11 proposed constitutional amendments appearing on Alabama ballots statewide on Nov. 6:

Amendment 1: Extends the state's Forever Wild land preservation program for 20 years.

Amendment 2: Allows the state to sell more bonds to get money to offer industries to build or expand plants in Alabama.

Amendment 3: Makes the small Baldwin County community of Stockton a landmark district to protect it against annexation from a nearby town.

Khara Persad / News 21

Alabama voters on Nov. 6 will get another chance to remove racist sections of the Alabama Constitution. Amendment No. 4 on the ballot would remove language from the 1901 Alabama Constitution that includes providing for separate schools for black and white students and levying a poll tax. Supporters say this amendment is different from one narrowly rejected by voters in 2004. That one removed the same sections, but also removed language that says there is no right to a public education at taxpayer's expense. / Wikimedia Commons

Alabama's 5th congressional district covers the entire northern part of Alabama stretching from Florence to Huntsville. In Democratic hands for over a century it's only been recently that District 5 has gone Republican, with Mo Brooks victory in 2010. Brooks is being opposed this time around by Democrat Charlie Holley. Alabama Public Radio's Ryan Vasquez spoke with Dr.

Republican chief justice candidate Roy Moore says the church has been silenced by political correctness. Moore spoke Tuesday at a rally on the state Capitol steps.

It was organized by several ministers concerned about President Obama's views on same-sex marriage and abortion.

Moore said America is in a time of moral decay and is seeing an attack on the institution of marriage. He said he's tired of hearing politicians say let's get down to the real issues because marriage and abortion are real issues.

Numerous Alabama cities are holding municipal runoff elections, and the lines to vote likely won't be very long. Jacksonville State University political scientist and former congressman Glen Browder says such elections typically have a small turnout because few names are on the ballot. Retired University of Alabama political scientist Bill Stewart says voter fatigue also plays a role in the slim turnouts. Cities held runoff elections for mayor and city council statewide on Tuesday. In Birmingham, voters also decided bond issues totaling $150 million that would fund city projects.

Alabama Supreme Court candidate Roy Moore says same-sex marriage will lead to the "ultimate destruction" of America. The Republican nominee for chief justice made his comments during a Tea Party rally in Fort Payne on Saturday. Moore says same-sex marriage will lead to the nation's demise because it attacks the nation's foundation. Moore says the Democratic national platform is divisive for supporting same-sex rights. Moore's Democratic opponent for chief justice, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance, says same-sex marriage isn't an issue in Alabama.

State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley is crisscrossing the state to ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment that could determine how successful he is in keeping his campaign promise to create jobs. Bentley is urging voters to approve Amendment 2 on Nov. 6. He says it will give the state a new avenue for providing incentives for industries to locate in Alabama. Alabama's Constitution already allows the state to sell up to $750 million in bonds for industrial incentives. The state is near that limit. / Alabama Forever Wild

Alabama voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether to continue a 20-year-old program that has allowed the state to buy 220,000 acres of public land to be used for hunting, fishing, birding and other activities. It's the second time Alabama residents have been asked to vote on Forever Wild. The first was in 1992, when voters authorized the state to buy wilderness lands. Forever Wild was approved with 83 percent of votes in the 1992 referendum. It uses earnings from oil and gas revenue in the Alabama Trust Fund and does not take funds from the General Fund or education budgets.

There's a new push to increase Hispanic voter registration in Alabama.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will host a voter registration drive aimed at Hispanic citizens on Saturday.

The event is being co-sponsored by Rivera Communications, which operates a Spanish-language radio station that broadcasts in central Alabama. The station is promoting the drive on the air.

(Martin): For residents in Alabama's second congressional district, what are the issues they're going to be concerned with this election season?

(Taylor): Well I think clearly the issues that are most in the minds of people in the second district is true across the state is still the state of the economy and jobs, I think the themes that are important to the district are mostly generic ones like the basic state of the economy.

(Maggie): Now there’s also Fort Rocker which is in Dale County what will this US army post look for this election season?

Some members of the Alabama Legislature have been trying for more than 10 years to rewrite the Alabama Constitution by doing it one article at a time.

Two of the rewritten articles are finally ready to go before voters. Proposed amendments rewriting two sections on the 1901 Constitution relating to banking and corporations passed the Alabama House and Senate earlier this year and will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

It's a similar process that was used in the early 1970s to rewrite the state's judicial articles.

Alabama's Republican Party chairman is traveling across the state to announce that the party will send volunteers to battleground states because Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is expected to carry Alabama by a wide margin.

Party Chairman Bill Armistead is calling the effort Alabama Battleground Patriots.

A party spokeswoman says Armistead plans stops Monday in Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile and Dothan. He will be in Hoover on Tuesday.

The Republican nominee for president has carried Alabama in every election since 1980.

U.S. voters are just a few weeks shy of casting their ballot for president. Both candidates have discussed several issues during their campaigns, with economic recovery taking the forefront. That’s an issue that resonates with residents in Alabama’s first congressional district, which includes Mobile. Several developments over the summer are spurring economic growth in the coastal city, including an agreement with Airbus.

Vox Efx / Flickr

Alabama voters have decided by a 2-to-1 margin to support the withdrawal of $437 million from a state trust fund to help balance the General Fund budget for the next three years.

Gov. Robert Bentley called it a temporary funding bridge to maintain essential state services while state officials work on right-sizing government.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

The Alabama Nursing Home Association is proud of the fact that at least one nursing home is available in every county in the state. But if the budget referendum taking place tomorrow fails that effort could be in danger. John Matson is a spokesman for the Alabama Nursing Home Association. He says a vote of "no" tomorrow could spell deep cuts on the horizon.

About 50 people gathered on the steps of the Alabama Capitol to urge residents to vote "no" Tuesday on a constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of $437.4 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to be used for Medicaid, prisons and other state services. Holding signs urging voters to not "bust" the trust fund, the demonstrators Thursday listened to representatives of grassroots groups who said the principle from the fund, established by former Gov. Fob James, was never meant to be spent. / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt's re-election campaign has paid $13,000 in penalties for filing inaccurate finance reports. The documents released recently by the Federal Election Commission show Aderholt's campaign account misrepresented how much money it raised; spent; and had on hand for several years. Records show more than $58,000 in campaign receipts were misstated from 2006 through 2010. And there were inaccurate records about how $129,600 was spent. Another $273,000 wasn't deposited into the campaign account within the required 10-day period.

Special Election: Alabama Trust Fund Amendment

Sep 10, 2012
Alabama Senator Arthur Orr
Alabama State Senate /

On September 18th, 2012, Alabama will be holding a special election to vote on a state constitutional amendment which will move money from the Alabama Trust Fund into the General Trust Fund. 

Click on the links below to view the original documents, including SB 147 which details how the funds will be distributed.

Proposed Statewide Amendment for September 18th

Ala. Election Chief Expects Small Turnout Sept. 18

Sep 7, 2012 / Alabama Secretary of State

Alabama's chief election official is expecting a small turnout for the special election Sept. 18 because of the lack of advertising and the unusual date.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman said the turnout for constitutional amendment elections usually is very low.

The exceptions were the lottery vote in 1999 and the tax hike vote in 2003, which hit 50 percent or more. But she said those were backed by millions in advertising. That hasn't been the case with the upcoming election.

Chapman said she's expecting a turnout of 20 to 21 percent, but that may be optimistic.

Friday is the deadline to register to vote in Alabama's constitutional amendment referendum on Sept. 18.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman says citizens can register at their local board of registrars or they can fill out forms at state and county offices that provide public assistance, such as the state Department of Human Resources. She says forms are also available when obtaining or renewing a driver's license.

Chapman is also reminding voters that Thursday, Sept. 13 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the referendum.

Republican chief justice candidate Roy Moore had his second best fundraising month so far in August.

Moore filed a campaign finance report Friday showing he raised more than $82,000 in August. That was topped only by his $102,000 in June.

Gov. Bentley Says No New Taxes If Vote Fails

Aug 30, 2012
State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley says he won't propose any tax increases if Alabama voters reject a proposal to take more than $437 million out of a state trust fund to use for the state General Fund budget. Bentley said he made a promise to the people of Alabama that he wouldn't raise taxes on families and he intends to keep that promise. Bentley said he will also veto any broad-based taxes passed by the Legislature. Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr of Decatur said the governor's no-tax position means it's almost certain the Legislature won't pass a tax.