Register now for Election Day
It’s now or never for citizens who wish to vote on Election Day, Nov. 8.
Oct. 24 is the final day to register to vote in the November election. Registering to vote may be done online, by mail or in person at the Franklin County Courthouse.
Probate Judge Barry Moore reminded Franklin Countians that in addition to the race for President of the United States, a number of local races are on the ballot, including Franklin County’s four county commissioners, one place on the Franklin County Board of Education and the Franklin County BOE superintendent.
“There are a lot of men and women who have made a lot of sacrifices to give us the rights and freedoms we have today, and one of those rights is to vote,” Moore said.
The last day to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 3, and absentee ballots must be hand-delivered or postmarked by Nov. 7. To be qualified to vote via Absentee Ballot, a voter must meet one of the following criteria:
- Will be absent from the county or state on Election Day.
- Ill or have a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place.
- Live outside the county, for example as a member of the armed services, employed outside the U.S., or a college student.
- An election officer or poll worker at a polling location other than your own.
- Work a required shift, 10 hours or more, that is the same as polling hours.
Fourteen state amendments will be on the ballot, and the Franklin County Commission approved resolutions in support of “yes votes” for these amendments at their Monday meeting. Amendments receiving the support of the commission are the third (to allow local-specific amendments to appear on local ballots only); the fourth (to give more autonomy to local commissions and how they manage personnel and emergency assistance); and the 14th (to fix a gap between state law and legislative rules in regards to procedural voting. For more informational on these constitutional amendments, visit http://sos.alabama.gov/ and click Voting in Alabama, then click the banner for the Proposed Constitutional Amendments.
A local amendment will impact fire protection services in Franklin County. A number of volunteer fire departments will be able to vote on a yearly mandatory fire service fee of $36 per residence in each district that opted to held said vote. The Franklin County Fire and Rescue Squad Association “strongly urges everyone to vote yes in their districts, those districts that are seeking funding,” President Michael Moomaw said. “The need is great. Every time a fire department is called out to a fire to respond, we’re using equipment that is not tested, so every time we’re using it, there’s an uncertainty.” Moomaw said many of Franklin County’s small volunteer departments simply do not have the funding to test equipment like air masks and air packs. “We have no way of maintaining or keeping up proper equipment,” he added. This impacts the department ability to provide comprehensive fire protection service and also influences each district’s ISO rating, which figures into homeowners’ house insurance rates – the better the VFD, the lower the ISO, the lower the insurance costs.
Moomaw recommended citizens to call their local fire chief with any questions, comments or concerns, or to call him directly at 256-668-0459 with any questions.
Vina, Burnout, Gravel Hill, Blue Springs, East Franklin, Frankfurt, Hodges and Pleasant Site are eight of the districts participating. The vote will appear only on the ballot for people within each fire district’s coverage area.
Nothing to do with VFD fee vote
Franklin County Fire and Rescue Squad Association President Michael Moomaw said two donation requests on citizen’s property tax letters have nothing to do with the local fire departments or the upcoming fire fee vote.
Apparently some confusion has surrounded two items on recently-mailed property tax letters. A listing for the Alabama Association of Firefighters, Moomaw said, is collecting voluntary $2 donations for the state duty fund, for firefighters who are part of the retirement system.
The AARS is a $3 requested donation that Moomaw said “no one really knows what it’s for, expect that it will be distributed to rescue squads in Alabama.”
“It’s giving people the option to choose to donate to one of those entities if they so choose,” Moomaw said. “Those are state entities. Those are nothing to do with us and what we are trying to do.”