TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - In Tuesday's municipal election, Tuscaloosa voters will decide on a mayor, city council and city school board members.
According to Tuscaloosa City Clerk Tony Meggs, the election will be Alabama's first municipal election to use the new poll pad technology. Voters will check in through the poll pads, instead of through traditional paper voter lists.
Meggs said the technology is intended to save time and reduce voter problems and errors. Voters who talked to WBRC Tuesday morning said they liked the poll pads and moved through the voting process quickly with them.
In the race for mayor, longtime Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is facing an opponent for the first time in 12 years. Stephon Lewis is challenging him for the seat.
Two longtime city councilors in Districts 2 and 5 are also facing opposition.
In the city school board race, there are 17 candidates running for office across six districts.
The local League of Women Voters chapter held candidate forums ahead of Tuesday's election. They want people to realize the importance of local elections.
"Your greatest privilege as a citizen is the right to vote," Tuscaloosa League of Women Voters Voter Services Chair Kim Bailey said. "And where is it more important than in your local community, right? Obviously, all races are important, but really, you can be most impactful, I believe, at a local level. That's where it starts."
Ann Reardon brought her three young daughters with her to vote Tuesday morning.
"I think it's important to show them that we are all part of the democratic process," Reardon said. "And that to come out and vote is a right that we have that we don't need to waste it."
"It doesn't take but a few minutes," voter Angela Hagler said. "Invest in what you want to happen for you. And then go on with your day, and do what you need to do. But come and do this for yourself and for the community."
"Hey, get on out here and vote," voter Troy Johnson said. "Make your vote count, hear your voice. Regardless of who you vote for, come out here and vote."
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Tuscaloosa.