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THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007
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Special election likely to draw few state voters

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

Absentee voting officials in Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence counties say a ballot without candidates will likely cause a low voter turnout for the June 5 special election on amendments.

The primary focus is an amendment on increasing the state's bond debt limit from $350 million to $700 million.

The state Legislature passed a bill supporting Gov. Bob Riley's proposal to increase the state's borrowing power to finance incentive packages for companies contemplating building plants in Alabama.

Now, it's time for the people to decide.

Area circuit clerks, who are in charge of absentee voting, said the process began April 23 and they've sent ballots only to military voters.

Absentee ballots to military personnel go out automatically because they are away from home.

Only one vote cast

Lawrence County Circuit Clerk Harce Hill said he has onlhad only one civilian to vote absentee and she's a county employee.

He said if candidates were on the ballot, absentee voting would be greater.

Also, he expects extremely low turnout at the polls in June.

"It's a very important election, but people just don't get involved in these amendments," Hill said. "Even in general elections, they usually skip the amendments."

Limestone County Circuit Clerk Charles Page and Morgan County Circuit Clerk John Pat Orr have not received any requests for absentee ballots.

"Any special election I have worked in 18 years usually has a low turnout," Page said.

In addition to the constitutional amendment to increase the bond limit, the ballot has an amendment to require all funds for health-care costs for retired state and education employees be used for that purpose only.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is June 1. If you have a business or medical emergency the deadline is June 2.

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