Qualifying for municipal elections starts July 3
by James Phillips
Jun 24, 2012 | 1430 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Campaign signs for the Jasper mayoral race are already popping up around town. Qualifying for all municipal elections in Walker County begins July 3. Photo by: James Phillips
Campaign signs for the Jasper mayoral race are already popping up around town. Qualifying for all municipal elections in Walker County begins July 3. Photo by: James Phillips
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Municipal elections across Alabama are still about two months away, but qualifying for those elections is set to begin in a little more than a week.

Candidates for mayor and city council can qualify for those positions beginning on the first Tuesday in July, which is July 3. Qualifying for municipal elections will continue through July 17. Municipal elections are set for Aug. 28, and, if a runoff is necessary, Oct.14 is the scheduled date for any runoff election. Elected candidates will take office on the first Monday in November.

To qualify as a candidate, a person must have lived in the municipality where they are seeking candidacy for at least 90 days prior to the election. If council members are elected from wards or districts, candidates must have been a resident of the ward they seek to serve for at least 90 days prior to the election. The term “resident” refers to a permanent residence. A candidate must have a physical presence in the district as well as the intention to reside in the district.

Area residents considering running for municipal office should contact their city or town clerk to determine their district.

Each municipality also charges qualification fees for candidates seeking to run for mayor or council. According to Alabama law, the fee must be no less than $10 and no more than $50. Most cities, including the City of Jasper, have a $50 qualification fee.

While qualifying hasn’t officially begun, some candidates are already campaigning. Signs for candidates in the Jasper mayoral race are already popping up across the city. Mayor Sonny Posey has signs throughout Jasper asking voters to re-elect him to a third term, while current District 2 council member Johnny Rollins has also place a large number of signs announcing his candidacy for mayor. Jasper City Clerk Kathy Chambless told members of the Kiwanis Club of Jasper last week she expected a lot of interest in this year’s election.

“The mayor’s race has two right now,”she said. “I’ve heard as many as six people may be interested in running for the District 4 council seat. I’m not sure if all of them will decide to qualify, but that shows people are talking about this election.”

Chambless said about half the city’s more than 8,000 registered voters turned out for the 2004 city election, which was the last time the mayor’s race was contested (Posey was unopposed in 2008).

“I expect at least that percentage with this election but probably even a bigger turnout,” she said.

Due to population changes in the latest U.S. Census, Jasper’s district lines have changed for this election. Chambless said the city plans on advertising each citizen’s voting location in the Daily Mountain Eagle and plans on sending out postcards to area residents advising them of their voting location.

For more information on the upcoming municipal elections, contact you area city or town hall.