“Enough is Enough!”
By Glenda Curl
There is absolutely no doubt that the Absentee Vote is an essential factor in winning an election in Wilcox County. The numbers don’t lie, and it has happened over and over again. Even candidates that are running to try and improve things have had to resort to vying for absentee votes in order to have a chance at winning an election here.
Everyone seems to ignore the fact that there are certain rules for voting an Absentee Ballot with penalties as stated in the Code of Alabama §17-17-24, 1975 as amended.
So let’s look at the particular returns for District 3 from this past election.
19% of the approximate 1,242 voters from District #3 were absentee, totaling 234 votes. 72% of the absentees were for Saulsberry, 17% for Mack, 7% for McIntosh and 4% for Woods. Saulsberry only received 224 votes at the polls compared to 168 absentee votes meaning that 43% of his total votes were absentees. The closest candidate to Saulsberry was Mack with a total of 205 votes of which 39 were absentees. Mack’s total votes were only 19% from absentees. These two will be in the run-off in July .
Absentee’s were pretty equal in the Sheriff’s race. Dale had 2059 votes, 271 absentees; and Sheriff Evans had 2110 votes, with 246 of those absentees. There will be no run-off in that race, even though Evans won by less than 1% of the popular vote.
In the Probate Race, Stone and Alexander will be running it off. Alexander had a total of 1,905 votes, 244 of those absentees; to Stone’s 1,178, 63 of those absentees.
There will be no run-off in the Coroner’s race which was actually a close race. Ramsey had 2,122, with 201 absentees to Wright’s 2,025 and 300 absentees.
The only other run-off will be for Commissioner in District #6. Joey Green had a total of 268 votes with 7 absentees or 38% to Southall’s 237 votes and 33 absentees, or 34% of the vote.
Of interest to voters could be the results in the 2014 Election for Commissioners District #3 and #6. There were 630 absentee votes in the 2014 June 3rd Election. McIntosh’s 215 votes trailed Saulsberry’s 278 votes. Saulsberry had 131 absentee votes and McIntosh had 10. The absentees in that election could have been Saulsberry’s downfall for a change, because McIntosh came back in the July run-off with 596 votes, 113 absentees to Saulsberry’s 269 votes, 147 absentees.
In District #6 in the race four years ago, there was a run-off between Joey Green and Gwen Denish. Green had 193 votes to Denish’s 189. Joey defeated Denish in the run-off in July with 411 votes to Denish’s 234. Green had 19 absentees and Denish had 176.
These are just some facts to look at to help us all decide if we need outside help on this absentee voting. We do if it is ever going to stop being the determining factor in MOST of our elections.
As a Registrar for many years, I witnessed many voters changing Districts from time to time, usually during election time. Often times as many as 10 people would be registered in one house. We could question the legality of the different moves, but the citizens had sworn to the fact that was where they stayed, temporarily, at least. That did not mean that they would be residing there permanently. Some of the people running for office are masters at working the system to their advantage.
However, it can be noted that upon request by the local district attorney or the Secretary of State, the Attorney General shall provide investigating assistance in instances of absentee ballot or voting violations.
It is past time to present the facts, and ask for that help!!!