Election Preview - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Election Preview

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We're just hours away from an election with an impact on the entire nation. Of course, the biggest race is for president and both campaigns are making their final push for votes. Recent polls show support for President Barack Obama and for Mitt Romney are at similar levels. That means Tuesday's vote could come down to a few key states and both men spent time getting in last-minute campaign stops in those states Monday.

There are many races on the ballot. From president to county races to statewide amendments. So, you might want to do some research before you head to the polls and just a heads up, you may spend lots of time in line.

It was a busy day Monday at the Jefferson County Registrars Office, handling calls and last minute issues like helping new resident John Amburgy who never received his absentee ballot. "Unfortunately something happened with the mail, but I'm told I'll be able to vote provisional ballot tomorrow."

Jefferson county is expecting an historical turnout election day. Barry Stephenson, Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Registrars says "In 2004, we had the highest election ever as far as turnout. In 2008, in the presidential election, we even broke that record and went over 300-thousand votes cast in Jefferson County. The registrars office expects voter turnout this year will exceed that. Stephenson says "I ask the voters to be patient and try to vote early in the day as possible."

There will be a record number of poll workers assisting voters and voters may have some questions. The registrars office received some calls Monday about straight party voting and how it could invalidate your votes.

Stephenson says "You only have to fill in the oval by the respected party you've chosen. You don't need to fill the oval beside an individual candidate with the same party or it will dis-qualify your vote."

That's because it appears you're voting twice. But it's okay to vote a straight ticket, but select a candidate from the other party in individual races. Stephenson says "For example, if you want to vote a straight ticket Republican, you can go down and find an individual Democrat candidate and fill in the oval beside their name and the machine would accept that. The opposite is true if you vote straight Democrat."

11 statewide amendments are on the ballot, but you're not required to vote on them. Voters are encouraged not to wait until the end of the day to vote. Also remember, you can bring a phot id or proof of residency to vote. Here is a complete list of what you can bring with you.

http://www.sos.alabama.gov/elections/VoterID.aspx

Polls are open from seven to seven.

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