MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Five things to know about Alabama’s general election Nov. 4:
PHOTO ID: Many voters will be complying with Alabama’s photo ID law for the first time. The law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls went into effect for the June 3 primary, but turnout for the general election is always much higher. Acceptable photo IDs include an Alabama driver’s license or non-driver ID; passport; federally issued ID; military ID; a college or university student ID; or an employee ID issued by the federal government, the state government, or any city or county government. Alabama’s secretary of state and county voter registrar offices are offering free photo IDs for voters who don’t have any other acceptable ID to use Nov. 4.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Alabama voters will decide whether to approve two proposed constitutional amendments pertaining to guns and hunting. Amendment 3 reaffirms that “every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms” and provides that no international treaty shall limit that right. Amendment 5 says that “people have a right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife subject to fundamental regulations that promote conservation” and that preserve the future of hunting and fishing.
TURNOUT: Republican Gov. Robert Bentley predicts he will win a second term because he leads Democratic nominee Parker Griffith in fundraising and in the polls, but he says he hopes the governor’s race generates controversy because that will help bring out voters to decide races farther down the ballot that don’t attract a lot of interest. “It is not a bad thing if Parker Griffith gets out there and says some things. It’s OK. I really don’t mind that. You need to make electorate want to go out and vote,” Bentley said.
SUPREME COURT: Alabama used to have the nation’s most expensive state Supreme Court races, with business groups funding Republicans and plaintiff lawyers backing Democrats, according to Justice at Stake and other groups that study court campaigns. That won’t be the case this time. The only Supreme Court justice up for election, Republican Greg Shaw, drew no opposition because plaintiff lawyers took a pass on the race.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: The attorney general’s race between Republican incumbent Luther Strange and Democratic challenger Joe Hubbard could be one of the most expensive races this fall. Hubbard, a state representative from Montgomery, is making his first bid for statewide office. But he has already raised $1.1 million, mostly from the Poarch Creek Indians, who oppose Strange’s lawsuit to close their casinos. Strange has received more than $2.1 million in contributions.
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