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12/21/17 The Times Daily ( Alabama )
Topic Started: Dec 21 2017, 07:49 AM (18 Views)
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Strange, Saban do well in write-in ballots
By Robert Palmer Staff Writer Dec 21, 2017
http://www.timesdaily.com/news/local/strange-saban-do-well-in-write-in-ballots/article_aa69656b-52fc-5ac5-965c-3080aae5da05.html

Election officials never know quite what to expect when they count write-in ballots.

In Lauderdale County, for example, someone wrote in "chicken nuggets" on the Dec. 12 special U.S. Senate election ballot, instead of opting for Democrat Doug Jones or Republican Roy Moore.

"Nick Saban didn't do as well as I thought," auderdale Probate Judge Will Motlow said of the University of Alabama football coach. "He got 10 votes.

"We had some funny ones," he said. "We had one vote for Taylor Hicks."

There were 388 valid write-in votes in Lauderdale County. A write-in candidate has to be an actual person who lives in Alabama.

Appointed U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who lost the primary election to Moore, was the top write-in vote-getter in Lauderdale County, Motlow said, with 172 votes. Next was write-in candidate Lee Busby with 78, and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, with 28.

The write-in and provisional ballots were counted Tuesday afternoon. Motlow said there were more than 160 provisional ballots cast in the election, and about 50 of them were disqualified.

A provisional ballot is cast by a voter when their eligibility to vote is in question. Motlow said the most common reason for a provisional ballot is the voter had a change of address since the last election and did not inform the board of registrars.

In Franklin County, there were 48 write-in ballots cast, Probate Judge Barry Moore said. Strange claimed the most votes in the write-ins, followed by Busby and Tripp Pittman, he said.

Secretary of State John Merrill said in a statement released by his office that 485 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee ballots were issued, and 366 of them were returned. There were 4,967 provisional ballots received, and 2,888 of them were verified, he said.

Merrill and the Alabama State Canvassing Board have until Jan. 3, 2018, to certify the results of the special election. Jones, who won the election with a 21,000 vote margin, will take office after the results are certified.


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