Act 2021-157 signed April 8, moves municipalities off Presidential Election cycle
TALLASSEE – With a stroke of her pen on Thursday, Governor Kay Ivey enacted legislation that moves an estimated 97 percent of municipal elections off the Presidential Election cycle. Those municipalities will hold their next elections in June 2025 and then will be on a four-year cycle going forward (2029, 2032, 2036 and so on).
According to information provided by the Alabama League of Municipalities: “to avoid constitutional issues caused by shortening an elected official’s term of office, this one-time change requires extending the current term by 12 months.”
So, what does this mean locally?
Tallassee Mayor John Hammock (elected by a strong majority of the town’s voters in 2020) prior to the new legislations being enacted, would have been up for the vote again in 2024. That date now moves to 2025.
Hammock: “I have always been honored to serve my hometown of Tallassee. I feel this legislation is a positive step for the citizens of Tallassee as it will cut down on the confusion and logistics of polling situs with multiple elections within the same year. I graciously accept the extra year as an opportunity to keep Tallassee moving forward and into the future.”
With the change to the cycle, comes a change to the qualifying period. Act 2021-157 (originally SB-119 sponsored by Senator Jabbo Waggoner and Representative Jim Hill) moves the qualification of candidates from July to June best provide “more time for confirmation of a candidate’s eligibility on the ballot before the printing of the ballots.”
According to the act: “(a) The provisions of the section shall apply to all Class 5 cities.”
In contrast, this bill will not change the election cycle for the state’s more metropolitan cities: Auburn, Huntsville, Scottsboro, Bessemer, Mobile, Montgomery and Dothan.
With the change runoff times “shorten from six weeks to four weeks to mirror county and state elections.” And, too, it requires the clerk to file a copy of each certificate of election with the Secretary of State’s office and the Alabama League of Municipalities.