A north Alabama lawmaker is kicking an idea around Montgomery that could dramatically change the state’s election process. Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, said he’s researching and gathering opinions about discontinuing most party primary runoffs. He said he wants to file a bill to do so by the end of March. “We go to the polls an awful lot in Alabama,” Ball said last week. Ball said because of runoffs, which are six weeks after the primaries, almost an entire legislative session can go by without a district seat being filled. Case in point: Former Rep. Jeremy Oden’s seat representing a portion of Morgan, Cullman and Blount counties. Oden resigned late last year when he was appointed to the state Public Service Commission. If no primary runoff is required in the special election to replace Oden, a new representative will be elected March 26. But if a primary runoff were required, the special general election won’t occur until May 7. The legislative session will end somewhere around May 20.
Ball said he’s considering a 35 percent threshold; as long as one candidate receives 35 percent or more of the vote in a primary, he or she would move on to the general election.
If no one receives 35 percent, there would be a runoff. Ball said Alabama is one of only a few states that still do primary runoffs.
“I’m just throwing the idea out there,” Ball said.
Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, said he hasn’t made up his mind about the idea, but said the six weeks between a primary and runoff is a mighty long time.
“It would save us chunks of money,” Greer said about eliminating many runoffs.
Full Article: Lawmaker suggests changes to runoffs – TimesDaily.com.