Deadline draws near for party nomination

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 27, 2004

The County Commission races have heated up recently as people have begun to qualify to run for office.

The chain of events leading up to the June 1 election have recently reached full swing.

The next major step in the election process will come on April 2, which will be the last day for candidates seeking nomination for a party primary to file their declaration of candidacy with the county party chair.

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Those seeking to run on an independent ticket must see Probate Judge Steve Norman.

&uot;Basically what we do in that situation is have them come see me,&uot; said Norman. &uot;We then get a petition from people on their district and voters in the last election to get them started.&uot;

During the same period of time the District Attorney’s position will be up.

Both the Commission and the District Attorney have a large responsibility to local taxpayers.

&uot;The Commissioners have a somewhat legislative role,&uot; said Norman. &uot;They can make a certain amount of legislation but primarily it is to set policy for the county operations and averse the budget.&uot;

Currently, County Commissioners earn a salary of $19,745.44.

Norman said that the role of the district attorney was relatively self-explanatory.

&uot;It is just that,&uot; said Norman. &uot;He or she is a prosecutor for the district.&uot;

Qualifying for elections is dependent on party affiliation.

&uot;If you are a Democrat you qualify with the Democratic chairman of the committee for Butler County,&uot; said Norman. &uot;If you want on the Republican ticket you qualify with the Republican chairperson.&uot;

As far as the cost of the elections it varies. If there are any state elections on the ticket the state and county split the tab 50 percent.

However, if the elections are exclusively Butler County elections it is the counties responsibility to pay.

Once election time draws closer Norman, the Sheriff and the Circuit Clerk will begin to gather poll workers.

According to 2002 edition of Alabama Election Laws issued by the Alabama Secretary of State, they must pull 15 days before the primary, but no more than 20, a list of people to serve as poll workers.

Each poll must have three inspectors and two clerks and someone to act as a polling officer for each precinct.

Under state law, any of the three officers seeking re-election cannot take part in selecting poll workers.

Those serving at the polls are paid $50 each for their service.

On the day of the election, the sheriff or her representative must be present at all election precincts to preserve the peace.

This allows voters to cast their ballot without interference or interruption.

The law dictates that the sheriff can deputize as many people as she needs to meet the rule of law.

Norman said there are many rules and such under state law that poll workers must be abreast of and to make sure everything is followed to the letter, he will hold two poll worker schools. He believes this will eliminate any margin for error.

&uot;This year I plan to have two schools,&uot; said Norman. &uot;The law says that we have to have at least one, but this year I plan to have two.&uot;

The time for qualifying is drawing to a close.

Those who wish to put their name on a ballot should act quickly to beat the April 2 deadline.

In the coming weeks, the Greenville Advocate will go into great detail about the local election.

There will be a breakdown of the costs to the county for holding an election.

Ballots, voting machines and other materials needed for an election is the financial responsibility of the county commission under state law.

Once the qualifying date passes, there will be in-depth interviews with candidates for each race.

Each candidate will receive the same questions and be given the same amount of space to answer the questions.

Their answers will be run completely.