The polling precincts are now open for today's primaries. Alabama's chief election official is predicting a low voter turnout for today's primary elections across the state. Secretary of State Jim Bennett believes between 25 to 27 percent of Alabama's 2.8 million registered voters will go to the polls. Today is also the first election where voters have to show a photo ID. That can include a driver's license, non-driver ID, Alabama voter ID or a passport. Daniel Baxter, the director of elections for Montgomery County , doesn't believe the photo ID law will pose an undue hardship on voters. The polling precincts will close at 7 p.m. Join WVAS News team for complete election coverage starting at 7 p.m.
Some of the hottest races on today's primary election ballot includes the Secretary of State Office. The lack of an incumbent has drawn three Republican hopefuls, former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney, State Representative John Merrill of Tuscaloosa and Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue are competing for the GOP nomination. Republican Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn has multiple challengers. Dunn was viewed as a potentially vulnerable incumbent after unsuccessfully pushing for formal hearings on utility rates. Media company owner Jonathan Barbee, former Greene County Commission Chairman Chip Beeker and Alabama Minority GOP Chairman Phillip Brown are challenging Dunn. Primary voters will also cast ballots for party nominations for lieutenant governor, state auditor, another seat on the PSC and seats on the state school board.
Alabama's Republican primary for governor features incumbent Robert Bentley taking on two poorly funded opponents. Two candidates are competing on the Democratic ticket. Bentley raise more than $1,000 in campaign contributions for each dollar collected by former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George and retired Scottsboro businessman Bob Starkey. Bentley campaigned on lowering Alabama's unemployment rate and bringing new industries to the state. George set himself apart from Bentley by pushing for a state lottery and an expansion of Medicaid. Starkey did little campaigning. The Democratic contest pits former Congressman Parker Griffith of Huntsville against Fayette businessman Kevin Bass.
Dallas County's district attorney says he will ask a judge to move a former Selma High School teacher and convicted sex offender to a new jail. D.A. Michael Jackson is upset after he found out that Latangela Williams was allowed to leave the Dallas County jail on Sunday to attend a church anniversary service at her father's church in Orrville. Jackson said its unclear who granted the pass that allowed Williams to leave the county jail from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Latangela Williams is serving a 14 month jail term following her conviction for having sexual contact with two students. There has been no comment from the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.