Legislative Wrap-Up, 1118 ALBJ, 79 The Alabama Lawyer 448 (2018)

PositionVol. 79 6 Pg. 448

Legislative Wrap-Up

Vol. 79 No. 6 Pg. 448

Alabama Bar Lawyer

November, 2018

Othni J. Lathram Director, Legislative Services Agency olathram@lsa.state.al.us

For more information, visit www.lsa.alabama.gov.

We Voted, Now What?

Earlier this month, Alabamians went to the polls to cast their ballots on a number of state officeholders, county officials, four statewide constitutional amendments and 15 local constitutional amendments. While many of us watch the results and move on with our lives, these elections set in motion a sequence of events, deadlines and activities that lead to the transition of state government for the coming four years. While not exhaustive, i will lay out some of the major pieces of that transition below.

Post-Election Process

Canvassing

Canvassing of Provisional ballots by the canvassing board must commence at noon, Tuesday, seven days after the election by tabulating the provisional ballots which have been certified by the board of registrars. The results must be posted in the courthouse and one copy shall be sealed with the provisional ballots, provisional voter affirmation challenges and certification of the board of registrars and delivered with other records of the election.[1]

All returns required by law to be sent to the secretary of state must, within 22 days after the election, be opened, counted and certified in the presence of the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general, or any two of them, or by the secretary of state in the presence of any one of the other officers in the case of constitutional amendments. The governor proclaims the results of the election, and the proclamation is published in a newspaper at the state capitol.[2]

Election Certificates relating to elections for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state, treasurer and commissioner of agriculture and industries are forwarded by the judge of probate to the governor, who delivers them to the speaker of the house. These returns are then canvassed and the results are proclaimed by the speaker of the house, at least 10 days before the time set for a joint session of the legislature, during the organizational session of the legislature in January. The returns are then fled in the office of the secretary of state.[3]

Contests and recounts

The law recognizes that the public, as well as the candidates, has a legitimate interest in...

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