District 4 voters face two ballots, two lines

DECATUR, Ala. - There is another race that only some voters will face when they go to the polls Tuesday. The Alabama House of Representatives District 4 seat was vacated earlier this year when former Representative Micky Hammon was convicted of corruption charges in September.

District 4 encompasses a large portion of Morgan County and stretches up into Limestone County.

And so voters in that legislative district will also be participating in a Republican primary Tuesday. You should be warned, since it's a completely separate election, there will be two separate ballots, two sets of poll workers, and two lines.

For most voters here in the Tennessee Valley, it'll be a simple thing. One line to register, one ballot, one race, one choice.

But District 4 voters will face a pair of lines, a pair of sign-ins and ballots.

"18 polling places in Morgan County, and 5 in Limestone County will actually have two separate elections going on at the same time on the same day,” says Morgan County Probate Judge Greg Cain.

It promises to create at least a little confusion, especially when you consider not everyone at the affected polling places will be able to vote in both races.

“Out of the 18 precincts in Morgan County, 14 of them are split precincts,” Cain says. That means not everyone in that voting precinct resides within District 4 and qualifies to vote in that primary.

Think back to Hartselle 5 years ago when they held a wet-dry referendum in conjunction with a state election. Two lines, two sets of poll workers, two distinctly different ballots.

That's what voters in District 4 will face Tuesday.

An interesting footnote to the Republican primary, there are 3 names on the ballot so there could be a run-off. If that happens, it'll take place in late February with the general election sometime in the spring.

The legislative session will have ended long before then and the term for that office ends in 2018. It means if there is a run-off, the person who eventually wins the election for the state legislature will not serve a single day in the legislature before having to run again.

Election officials are expecting a rather large crowd for a special election. Voters in District 4 should plan on spending a little extra time at their polling place.