Plenty of changes in upcoming election

Published 7:47 pm Friday, February 10, 2012

Changes to local and national election cycles have polling officials preparing for a logjam come March.

Alabama’s Presidential Preference Primary has been moved up three months and three county polling places have been closed.

If that wasn’t enough, a crowded local primary election field has set up a perfect political storm just more than one month from now.

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“I think, for a lot of people, it really hasn’t set in that the presidential primary is in about four weeks,” said Probate Judge Cindy Neilson. “We’ve got 18 local candidates, and I think that’s grabbed a lot of people’s attention, but I’ve still got people asking me about the June primary and I have to tell them that it’s in March now.”

In 2011, the Alabama Legislature passed House Bill 425, which combined the dates for the Presidential Preference Primary and the regular primary election and set them for the second Tuesday in March.

The move, then-Secretary of State Beth Chapman said, would save Alabamians millions of dollars and make the state’s primary election more relevant on the national political scene.

Aside from the date change, polling placed in Octagon, Spring Hill and Dayton were closed.

Some of those voters have been rezoned into different districts, and all of them were assigned a different polling place.

The Marengo County Probate Office will publish a list of all registered county voters in the Demopolis Times next week with their names and polling locations.

The Board of Registrars will also begin mailing out information to the affected voters within the next two weeks.

Regardless of voting precincts, all voters will be required to bring an official identification to the polls March 13.