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franklin county times

Exercise your right to vote in upcoming primary election

It’s less than a month away now: the Alabama 2024 Primary.

Since this is a presidential election year, this will be a big day statewide. It’s important for more than just deciding who will advance in the POTUS race, though. We will also choose several local candidates.

Most of us will never run for public office, but making our voices heard on election day is something we can easily do to play our part in the process.

As the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office puts it, “The best public policy decisions are formed when there is a diversity of backgrounds, opinions and perspectives represented at the policy-making table. In order for those voices to be heard in the process, we need all eligible Alabamians to vote. Voting is fundamental to our representative democracy, and your civic participation is critical to our success as a state.”

Distilled down: Your opinion matters.

Local candidates have spent the past weeks and months meeting constituents, sharing their principles, making promises and getting the word out about why they should be elected. As the campaign days are dwindling, it will soon be the time, they hope, when all that hard work pays off.

If you feel underprepared to vote less than three weeks from today, now is the time to rectify that. Use the time left to read up on our local races and state and federal campaigns.

As local races are concerned, one opportunity will be the upcoming Bean Dinner at Blue Springs Feb. 24. Blue Springs VFD will host a Candidate Bean Dinner from noon to 4 p.m. at the VFD, 3001 Highway 75, Phil Campbell. The meal will include beans, cornbread, onion and drink for $5. Plates will be served at noon, a cake auction will be held at 1 p.m., and candidate speeches will follow.

Another Candidate Dinner will be held March 2 at the Vina VFD. For $10 attendees will enjoy a chili supper complete with dessert and drink at 5 p.m., with political speeches to follow at 6 p.m. The Vina VFD will also have a cake auction.

In addition to knowing the candidates and the issues, you should also make sure you’re ready to vote by checking your registration status and your polling location. Those polling locations do change, on occasion; in the past few years, a few in Franklin County have consolidated.

You can check your registration, polling place and more – like election laws, voter turnout information and sample ballots – at www.sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/voter/election-information/2024.

If you are eligible to vote – if you’re a U.S. citizen, a resident of Alabama, 18 or older by election day, not barred from voting by reason of disqualifying felony conviction and not judged “mentally incompetent” in a court of law – but you aren’t yet registered to vote, there is still time, but not much. Registration must be completed online by Feb. 19, postmarked by Feb. 17 or hand-delivered by Feb. 16.

Local election officials include Anita Scott, Barry Moore and Shannon Oliver. For more information or assistance call the Board of Registrars office at 256-332-8849.

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