Tears and Laughter: Absentee ballots rising – threaten to upset Wilcox District 6 election results

John Merrill with Joy Norsworthy

John Merrill with Joy Norsworthy

My suggestion…is that we all leave the county. That of course is just my own personal opinion, the fact that we would all be better off is beside the point. And that is any direction. Just make it across the county line. Not that Dallas County has a whole lot to brag about but…we are Wilcox.

The best advice I could give a person about Wilcox County is to run from it. It has a strange draw to it, a haunting spirit, good fishing, and almost year-round hunting seasons. But do not let your heart be troubled by it. Take yourself and your family to a place where there are jobs. Where kids can get a normal education, and where you can feel reasonably assured that the local government is expected to conduct fair elections. Because if you are the type of person with strong expectations, you are going to be very disappointed in Wilcox County.

Impact Wilcox met last Tuesday evening. Over 200 people attended. Loretta Grant, Republican candidate for House District 69, was there along with State Representative John Merrill, Republican nominee for Secretary Of State.

Local commissioners and candidates also spoke. District 1 Commissioner Bill Albritton said, “People need to be aware of the great financial hole Wilcox County is in because of foolish decisions made in the past.” He also reminded everyone in District 1 to mark his name on the ballot on Nov. 4 to insure no write-in surprises.

Joey Green – who won the District 6 Commission seat in the June 3 primary as well as the July 15 runoff – spoke too, but he was half in shock after it was announced that over 250 absentee ballots have already been applied for out of District 6, with weeks left to go until the election. Clearly there is a write-in campaign being staged. But has anybody seen any campaign signs? Have there been any ads in the paper?

Tom Love is running a write-in campaign for coroner. He was at the Impact meeting just to tell everybody how to spell Tommy McCullough correctly. He was shaking hands and giving out cards with his picture on it and his name spelled out in red.

Whoever it is staging the write-in campaign for the District 6 Commission race is not campaigning. It could be Gwen Denish, who lost to Green. It could be current Commissioner Reginald Southall, who has a history of winning by absentees…or it could be anyone well-versed in community organizing and collecting absentee votes. Rest assured though, there are not two candidates running with any intentions of the votes being split. It is an organized effort. It is typical Wilcox County style politics.

With such a high number of absentee ballots applied for, an upset in the election results is possible, if not likely. Voters can try and counterbalance it, if there is enough interest. Everyone in District 6 will again need to mark Joey Green’s name when they vote on Nov. 4.

But the only way to compete in Wilcox County elections from this point forward is to organize volunteers who will get voter’s lists and collect absentee voters by finding, calling and visiting registered voters who do not go to the polls to vote. This process is easy. Applications can be downloaded online. Read the rules, fall in line, and learn to collect. Otherwise it’s either leave the county or expect more of the same as it has always been. Which remember…is dead last.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Al. Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era – https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.

The above is a column from guest contributor Amanda Walker. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The West Alabama Watchman.