Secretary of State projects low runoff turnout
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyle Hamrick
Even with less than three hours left until polls close across the state for the primary runoff election, Secretary of State John Merrill projected a turnout lower than in the primary election on May 24.
“We thought we would be somewhere between 10 and 15%,” he explained, “but it looks like we’re a bit less than 10% right now.”
Merrill said the projected numbers are disappointing because a seat in the United States Senate, a Democratic candidate for governor, and candidates for Alabama secretary of state and state auditor are at stake for the general election in November.
“I think what has happened is that people have become more relegated to only getting the more extreme voters to participate in the primaries,” Merrill said.
When fewer people participate in the primary elections, he said the votes cast become as much as 15 times more valuable.
“So the people voting in November are actually voting for the folks that were already selected by the 8-10 percent of the folks that voted in the summer,” Merrill explained.
In the primary election on May 24, 23.35% of Alabama’s registered voters participated, casting 849,773 ballots.
For more information on voting in the primary runoff election, head over to WVUA 23’s comprehensive page by clicking here.