Breakdown of Madison County Proposed Local Amendment 1

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Next week Madison County voters will have to cast their vote for proposed local Amendment 1. "The amendment applies only to those individuals that have been appointed to a district or circuit judgeship as a result of an interim or midterm vacancy", WHNT Political Analyst Jess Brown said.

He says Madison County has its own special Amendment called 334. The Amendment suggests if someone is appointed to an interim judgeship they have to appear on the general election ballot within six months that the vacancy occurs. "Which is quick, think about it. It might be a month before the screening commission; that sends names to the governor, meets. Then the governor has to choose a new judge," Brown said.

He said since we changed the dates of the presidential and party primaries it's caused an issue in Madison County; if the Amendment isn't approved. "It's an issue because if the interim judge serves six months then there will be a general election, but the vacancy would have occurred for qualifying to run in the March primaries", Brown said.

He said if Amendment 1 doesn't pass the county may have an issue, because there will not be a chance for qualifying people to run in the Democratic and Republican primaries. Brown said that has never happened in Alabama.

"It can't happen in Alabama. We're just one of few states left this way, because we elect our judges on a partisan basis; either Democrat or Republican", Brown said.

If approved the six month language in Amendment 334 would be removed. It would allow interim judges to serve a year instead of six months. Brown said it will also give the governor a chance to review interim judge candidates better.

Madison County voters can vote on local Amendment 1 on November 8th.