Voter information just a click away with Bham Now’s ultimate Voter’s Guide

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In the last municipal election, Birmingham’s voter turnout was right at 20%. Let’s change that by educating ourselves and spreading the word. This shareable Voter’s Guide should help!

jh daniel, Voter's guide, graphic, birmingham, alabama, voting

According to CityLab (the go-to hub for information on urban coverage), less than 15% of voters turn out for mayoral elections in major cities.

While Birmingham’s voter turnout numbers are slightly above that, we could do better. CityLab reports, “mayoral elections in the U.S. are also barely representative of the population.”

The national median voting age in recent mayoral elections was 57, and that represents a huge gap between Baby Boomers who vote and millennials who don’t.

The solution? Spreading the word across the Magic City. That’s why we’ve created the Bham Now Voter’s Guide.

It’s informative, it’s shareable and it’s a way to encourage Birmingham to be the change when it comes to local elections.

Read on for all you need to know about the upcoming city elections. They are a month away!

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Voting Days

We have two election days in August. The city’s municipal elections are being held on August 22, with a run-off on October 3, if that’s necessary. On August 15, Alabamians will be voting for a U.S. Senator.

There are nine Republicans and seven Democrats running in the Senate primary on August 15. A runoff election is scheduled on September 26. Stay tuned for Alabama Senate coverage from Bham Now. I’ll give you all the deets in an upcoming post.

City Council and Mayoral Candidates

This updated post lists all of the Birmingham City Council and mayoral candidates with links to their campaign social media pages or websites (if they have one), along with links to all the candidates we’ve interviewed.

This post features all of the Birmingham Board of Education candidates.

Here’s the Bham Now post featuring the U.S. Senate candidates running in the special election primary on August 15.

Dates To Know

August 8 is the last day you can register to vote in the city, and July 31 was the last day you can register to vote in the Alabama Senate race.

Follow this link to register online in the state of Alabama. You must be a U.S. citizen and living in the state. You can also print out an application or have one mailed to you. Follow this link to find out how to do that.

Absentee Ballots

The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot or for voting as an absentee in person for the Birmingham municipal election is August 17. Download an absentee ballot for the city here. Need to know if you qualify as an absentee voter? Check out this link.

For the state Senate races an absentee ballot that is returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election (August 14). For information on eligibility, visit this link.

Your District
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Birmingham City Council Districts, via BHAM WIKI

The most accurate way to find your address and district is via this link to the City of Birmingham’s online mapping website. You can read the quick tutorial, but it’s not too difficult to navigate.

  1. Read the disclaimer and launch the map.
  2. On the right-hand side of the web page, you will see an option for Map Layers. Click on the folder labeled Political Boundaries. Check the box labeled City Council Districts.
  3. At the top of the web page, you will see an option labeled Find.  Use the arrow to click on Address.
  4. Enter your address and zip code. Use “S” for South, etc. Hit Search For Address.
  5. Your address will show up on the map in your district.

There is another district-finding tool online, but it is not updated to reflect changes in district boundaries that occurred after the last census. My recommendation is not to use it.

Polling Places

For the Birmingham municipal elections, here is the most recent list of polling places categorized by district. To find out where to vote in the state Senate race, follow this link and enter your address or voter information.

Meet Your Candidates

Check out the I Believe In Birmingham Facebook page for links to upcoming debates with city council and school board candidates. Here is the link to their events page. WBHM is also hosting a mayoral debate on August 10 at the Harbert Center. Here’s the link to that event.

Any questions, comments or concerns? Please message me via the Bham Now Facebook page (@bhamnow). I’m happy to help or update this post with more information.