A look at the how city elections work
Published 10:26 am Monday, March 15, 2004
The Constitution of this great country has made it the leading democracy in the world, giving its citizens the power to guide their destiny through the election of their local and national leaders. As with all rights and privileges, elections in mayor-council municipalities are conducted pursuant to the general municipal election laws pertaining to mayor-council cities and towns, of which Brewton is one. These laws are codified at Sections 11-46-21 through 11-46-74, Code of Alabama, 1975.
Basically, since the law was written, regular municipal elections in cities and towns shall be held on the fourth Tuesday in August 1984 and quadrennially thereafter. Runoff elections, if required, shall be held on the third Tuesday thereafter, following the regular election. This is legalese meaning that our municipal election will be held Tuesday, August 24, 2004 with a runoff, if required, to be held Tuesday, September 14, 2004. A runoff election is required if there are more than two candidates who have run for a position and none received the majority vote, therefore, the runoff election would involve the top two candidates. If no candidate receives a majority vote and there is a tie for second place, then the runoff election would involve the top three candidates.
The Mayor of Brewton is elected at large, that is, he/she must have resided in any District at least 90 days prior to the election. Brewton has five Districts; candidates are required to have been residents of their respective Districts at least 90 days prior to the election for qualification purposes, therefore, May 26, 2004 is the last day anyone could move to Brewton and be qualified to run for any position. Qualification will be held through the filing of forms at the City Clerk's office this year, from 8 a.m. July 6, 2004 to 5 p.m. July 20, 2004. The ballots will then be printed based on the Statements of Candidacy.
As far as voters (also known as electors) are concerned, they may not vote for anyone who does not appear on the ballot, i.e., there are no write-in candidates allowed as per Section 11-46-43. The Board of Registrars is restricted from registering persons within 10 calendar days prior to a municipal election. So until August 14, 2004, any person who is 18 years of age, or is presently 17 years of age but will be 18 by August 24, 2004, may register as a voter at the Board of Registrars (County Courthouse) -- as long as they have been a resident of Brewton for at least 30 days at the time of registration and are qualified to vote in our County's precinct. Registration addresses must be hard addresses, that is, not a P.O. Box. The known Voters List must be made public by August 19, 2004.
There is much more that transpires during elections, including forms, poll workers and polling places. Please note that the County has different polling places than the City; this is why voters are asked to vote at different locations depending on whose authority an election or referendum is being held. For municipal elections, Districts One and Two will vote at the Brewton Community Center behind our main building, Districts Three and Four will vote at the Media Center, Brewton Middle School, Liles Boulevard and District Five will vote at the Museum, Jeff Davis Community College. Please feel free to call me at 809-1770 with any questions and remember, you can make a difference.