By Alan Collins
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A word of advice for voters going to the polls next week: some voters will have to vote twice for their candidates and those voting absentee better get busy.
There has been a vacant seat on the Jefferson County Commission ever since William Bell left to become Mayor of Birmingham. The special election to fill his District One seat has 14 candidates vying to finish out Bell's term until November.
"In Commission District One you will get two ballots," Barry Stephenson, Deputy Director Jefferson County Board of Registrar said Wednesday. "You will request either the Democrat or Republican primary, then you will get a separate ballot for the candidates running for the unexpired term in District One."
This means voters in Jefferson County District One must vote for their candidate in the special election and then for the candidate to serve out a full four-year term starting in November. If there is a runoff needed for the special election, it will be held June 22nd. If a runoff is needed in the primary election, it will be held July 13th.
Meanwhile, Jefferson County Circuit Clerk Anne-Marie Adams said Wednesday the clock is ticking on absentee ballot voters.
"Tomorrow, Thursday, is the last day you can make out out an absentee ballot or that you can vote in person," Adams said.
Adams said those who wish to mail in their absentee ballots need to be aware Monday is Memorial Day. The mail will not run and the courthouse will be closed. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday and delivered by Tuesday. Those who hand deliver their ballots have until Friday afternoon at 5 o'clock.
Adams fears the holiday will hurt voter turnout.
"I'm sure today a lot of people have not realized, they will be out of town and back on Tuesday," Adams said.
The circuit clerk said she expects a voter turnout of about 20 percent.
If you have any questions about voting places or absentee ballots in Jefferson County, call the Jefferson County Probate Judge's office at (205) 254-7387 or the Jefferson County Registrar's office at (205) 325-5550.
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