2020 general election

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The 2020 general election was held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 to fill a range of county, state and federal offices, including, notably, electors for the office of President and Vice President of the United States.

The weather on election day was clear, with temperatures in the low 40s when polls opened, rising to the upper 60s by mid-day. Other than long lines in the morning, few problems were reported at polling sites.

Overall, 2,306,587 votes were cast in the Alabama for the general election, a turnout of 62.2% of the state's 3,708,804 registered voters. For Jefferson County, turnout was 65%, with 325,188 of 503,389 registered voters submitting ballots.

By comparison, 2,127,564 people, or 63.9% of 3,330,802 eligible voters, turned out for the 2016 general election. 1,189,069 votes were cast in the 2020 primaries (33% turnout), and 626,551 ballots were cast in the primary runoffs (17.4% turnout), driven mostly by interest in the U.S. Senate contest between Republicans Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville.

Due to the ongoing 2020 Coronavirus pandemic‎‎ the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program filed a lawsuit seeking to force Alabama to give residents more options to vote while maintaining social distancing guidelines from public health authorities. Attorney General of Alabama Steve Marshall argued against the suit. Judge Abdul Kallon ruled that the state should allow local election authorities to provide curbside voting, and loosen absentee ballot requirements. His decision was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 for the runoff election, but Kallon was allowed to continue hearings. On September 30, Kallon affirmed his orders for the general election. The 11th Circuit reversed Kallon's orders regarding absentee ballots, but allowed the local option for curbside voting to remain in place, pending the state's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill ruled that polling places could not require the wearing of face coverings, but that those concerned about transmission of the virus would be able to mark, "I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls." on their absentee ballot application without penalty. All other rules, including a requirement to enclose a photocopy of a state-issued ID, have two witnesses or a notary certify the signature, and to mail or personally hand-deliver the ballot to a county absentee election official, remained in place. Based on Kallon's earlier order, a number of Jefferson County absentee ballots were sent out with instructions that the requirement for witnesses or a notary were waived. Ballots received before the October 11 Circuit Court ruling were counted as valid, but those returned without witness signatures after that date were set aside, to be "cured" by contacting those voters to correct the deficiencies.

Increased demand for in-person absentee voting at the Jefferson County Courthouse led the Jefferson County Commission to open the absentee office on Saturdays for two weekends prior to election day.

As part of an executive order issued on September 30, Governor Kay Ivey approved the use of remote training for poll workers, increased their compensation, and ordered counting of absentee ballots to begin at 7:00 AM on election day rather than after polls close. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin declared Election Day to be a city holiday.

Results

Federal offices

  • President of the United States and Vice President of the United States
    • Donald Trump and Mike Pence (Republican Party, incumbent): 1,427,820 votes (62.2%), winner of 9 electoral votes
      • in Jefferson County: 138,443 (42.6%)
      • in Shelby County:
    • Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Democratic Party): 837,376 votes (36.5%)
      • in Jefferson County: 180,936 votes (55.7%)
      • in Shelby County:
    • Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy "Spike" Cohen (independent): 24,886 votes (1.1%)
      • in Jefferson County: 3,568 votes (1.1%)
      • in Shelby County:
    • write-in: 7,213 votes (0.3%)
      • in Jefferson County: 1,728 votes (0.5%)
      • in Shelby County:
  • United States Senate
    • Tommy Tuberville (R): 1,379,222 votes (60.2%), winner
      • in Jefferson County: 133,931 votes (41.3%)
    • Doug Jones (D, incumbent): 907,484 votes (39.6%)
      • in Jefferson County: 189,854 votes (58.5%)
    • write-in: 3,836 votes (0.2%)
      • in Jefferson County: 550 votes (0.2%)
  • United States House of Representatives for the 3rd Congressional District
    • Mike Rogers (R, incumbent): 216,700 votes (67.5%), winner
    • Adia Winfrey (D): 103,874 votes (32.4%)
    • write-in: 254 votes (0.1%)
  • United States House of Representatives for the 4th Congressional District
  • United States House of Representatives for the 6th Congressional District
    • Gary Palmer (R, incumbent, unopposed): 273,205 votes (97.1%), winner
    • write-in: 8,062 votes (2.9%)
  • United States House of Representatives for the 7th Congressional District
    • Terri Sewell (D, incumbent, unopposed): 224,995 votes (97.2%), winner
    • write-in: 6,583 votes (2.8%)

Statewide offices

  • Alabama State Board of Education (3rd District)
  • Alabama State Board of Education (7th District)
    • Belinda McRae (R, unopposed): 216,934 votes (98.7%), winner
    • write-in: 2,756 votes (1.3%)

Jefferson County offices


Statewide amendments

  • Proposed Amendment One to change voting qualification language from "every citizen of the U.S." to "only a citizen of the U.S."
    • Yes: 1,518,469 votes (77.0%), passed
    • No: 453,330 votes (23.0%)
  • Proposed Amendment Two to alter the composition and duties of the Judicial Inquiry Commission.
    • No: 910,264 votes (51.1%), defeated
    • Yes: 870,422 votes (48.9%)
  • Proposed Amendment Three to extend the term of judges appointed to fill vacant seats before being subject to election.
    • Yes: 1,179,725 votes (64.8%), passed
    • No: 640,780 votes (35.2%)
  • Proposed Amendment Four to allow the state legislature to recompile the Alabama Constitution, without changes in substance, for later approval by voters.
    • Yes: 1,207,634 votes (66.7%), passed
    • No: 601,788 votes (33.3%)
  • Proposed Amendment Five to establish a "stand your ground" defense for homicides committed in churches in Franklin County.
    • Yes: 1,200,422 votes (71.6%), passed
    • No: 475,235 votes (28.4%)
  • Proposed Amendment Six to establish a "stand your ground" defense for homicides committed in churches in Lauderdale County.
    • Yes: 1,202,883 votes (71.6%), passed
    • No: 476,355 votes (28.4%)

References

  • Chandler, Kim (July 2, 2020) "Supreme Court blocks curbside voting in Alabama." Associated Press
  • Cason, Mike (July 20, 2020) "Merrill extends COVID-19 emergency absentee voting rule to general election." The Birmingham News
  • Crenshaw, Solomon Jr (September 9, 2020) "Polling Place Changes Prompt Jefferson County to Send Out New, More Colorful Cards." BirminghamWatch
  • Lyman, Brian (September 30, 2020) "Gov. Kay Ivey extends mask order to November." Montgomery Advertiser
  • Cason, Mike (September 30, 2020) "Judge rules Alabama counties can offer curbside voting, blocks some absentee voting laws." The Birmingham News
  • Roop, Lee (October 10, 2020) "Answering Trump, Alabama election boss spells out ‘the way it works’ at polls." The Birmingham News
  • "Federal Court Says ID, Witnesses Required for Absentee Voting." (October 14, 2020) BirminghamWatch
  • Sheets, Connor (October 19, 2020) "‘An awesome experience’: Over 1,300 cast ballots in ‘historic’ Jeffco Saturday voting." The Birmingham News
  • Sheets, Connor (October 20, 2020) "Claims Jefferson County employees improperly influenced voters are unfounded: Secretary of State." The Birmingham News
  • Cason, Mike (October 25, 2020) "Here’s 6 statewide constitutional amendments on ballot, and what they mean to you." The Birmingham News
  • Douban, Gigi (October 27, 2020) "Uncertainty Looms Over Validity of Some Jefferson County Absentee Ballots" WBHM / BirminghamWatch
  • Gore, Leada (October 28, 2020) "Can you change your vote? In Alabama, the answer is yes…and no" The Birmingham News
  • Cason, Mike (November 1, 2020) "Election 2020: What are provisional ballots and how are they counted?" The Birmingham News
  • Sharp, John (November 4, 2020) "Trump won big again in Alabama, bigger back-to-back wins than anyone since FDR." The Birmingham News
  • Roop, Lee (November 4, 2020) "Alabama hits record 62 percent voter turnout in 2020′s pandemic election." The Birmingham News
  • Archibald, Ramsey (November 18, 2020) "Red counties in Alabama saw more votes than any time in decades." The Birmingham News

External links