Deadline to register for Tuberville – Sessions run-off is June 29
Secretary of State encourages absentee options amid Covid concerns
By Fran Thompson
Whether the reason is merely convenience or Covid 19 pandemic concerns, voting by mail is the suggested option from Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, when Alabama voters will decide between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in the Republican runoff for a U.S. Senate seat on July 14.
Gov. Kay Ivey postponed the runoff from March 31 because of the pandemic. The application deadline for absentee voting is July 9. But the last day to register for voter eligibility in the runoff is June 29.
To vote online, go to and check on the box that states “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.’’ The Alabama law requiring voters to give a reason when applying for an absentee ballot has been lifted amid pandemic concerns, said Merrill.
“Some because of the convenience of voting through the absentee process want to go ahead and exercise their right to vote by mail through the absentee application now,’’ said Merrill.
The deadline to mail or deliver an absentee ballot to the absentee election manager is July 13. Baldwin County’s Absentee Election Manager is Jody Wise. (Mailing address: 312 Courthouse Square, Suite 10, Bay Minette, Alabama, 36507. Phone: 251-937-0379). More info is also available at sos.alabama.gov or 334-242-7210.
The Republican winner will take on Democrat incumbent Doug Jones on Nov. 3. Ironically, Sessions occupied the seat that Jones held for more than 20 years. Sessions resigned in 2017 to become attorney general in the Trump administration. Luther Strange was appointed to fill Sessions’ seat. But Strange lost to Judge Roy Moore in the Republican primary.
Jones narrowly defeated Moore in a special election in 2017 to become Alabama’s first Democratic senator in 25 years. Moore, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, was backed by President Trump, but he saw his campaign founder amid allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls in the 1970s.
March’s crowded Republican Senate primary also included the return of Moore, evangelist Stanley Adair, U.S. Congressan Bradley Byrne, state representative Arnold Mooney and community activist Ruth Page Nelson.
Neither Tubberville (239,173 votes) nor Sessions (226,675 votes) received 50 percent of the vote, setting up the July 14 run-off. A poll released last month showed Tuberville with a commanding 23 point lead over Sessions in the runoff.
After initially dismissing debates, Sessions has publicly challenged Tuberville to a series of debates.
“If coaching taught me anything, it’s that you don’t let the losing team dictate the game when you’re sitting on a lead,” Tuberville said in a widely reported response.
President Trump has endorsed Tubberville and is planning on hosting a rally in Mobile next month to gather support for his candidate, according to CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins.
“That’s the hometown of his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Rally is expected to be in same stadium (Ladd-Peebles) where Sessions joined Trump on stage in 2015,’’ Collins tweated.
Sessions tweeted this response to the announcement of next month’s rally: “The people of Alabama will not be told who to vote for by anyone in Washington. As recent experience demonstrates, in Alabama we make our own decisions on who will represent us in the US Senate. It’s always a good day when the President of the United States visits Alabama. That said, Alabama will vote solidly for @realDonaldTrump this fall, so his time would be far better spent in swing states he must win to be reelected.”