Bentley announces special election schedule

Published 8:53pm Friday, July 26, 2013

Voters in the 1st congressional district could have a new representative by the end of the year under a new court-approved timeline.

Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday announced the timeline for the expected special election in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. Rep. Jo Bonner is vacating the seat to take a job with the University of Alabama system.

Bentley said he sought a court order in an effort to hold the special election on an expedited schedule. The governor said his goal is to have Congressional representation for the people of District 1 as quickly as possible while protecting the rights of military and overseas voters.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson of the Middle District of Alabama entered a court order late Friday afternoon approving the expedited timeline.

Bentley earlier announced the dates of qualification for the special election as Aug. 3-5. Further, Judge Thompson’s order now permits Alabama to hold the expected special election on a timeline that allows a new member of Congress to be seated before Congress convenes in January 2014.

Based on the timeline approved by Judge Thompson, and contained in his order:

– The qualification period remains August 3-5.
– The special primary election will take place Tuesday, September 24, 2013.
The special primary runoff, if needed, will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
– If a special primary runoff is not required, the special general election will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
– If a special primary runoff is required, the special general election will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

Further, all third-party candidates, independent candidates, and/or minor party candidates seeking to qualify as candidates in the election must file the appropriate paperwork with the Secretary of State no later than September 24, 2013 at 5 p.m.

“This timeline will allow the voters of District 1 to choose their next representative as soon as possible,” Bentley said. “My goal is to have representation for this district when Congress convenes next year. This timeline also protects the rights of military and overseas voters to cast absentee ballots for the candidate of their choice.”

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