Record voter turnout expected in AL in November Presidential election

Record voter turnout expected in AL in November Presidential election

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama is one month away from the November General Election and based on national and state-wide projections, this election is expected to show a historic voter turnout.

Presidential elections pack the polls, but municipal elections are the exact opposite and both will occur only three months apart in Alabama this year.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill acknowledged voter turnout in the local elections this fall was staggering.

"We had a mayor's race in west Alabama just a couple of days ago where there were 3,000 people that voted in the race, and the race was decided by 24 votes in one of the largest municipalities in the state of Alabama," Merrill stated.

Merrill's office is still working around the clock to investigate a high number of complaints of voting impropriety filed during those local races.

"It's very interesting when you look at the municipal elections on Aug 23," Merrill said. "We had 564 municipal contests throughout the state of Alabama. 
We have had a number of people who have indicated that they have seen irregularities or issues that concerned them because of the way those campaigns were handled. We have received 186 individual municipal complaints."

November's general election is already casting a historic hue in the State of Alabama.

Merrill confirmed nearly half a million people have been registered to vote since January 2015, bringing the state voting register up to a historic 3.2 million voters, which builds a better case for a high November turnout.

"That's unsurpassed and unprecedented in the history of the State of Alabama", Merrill said.

Merrill expects the state to pass the 2008 record presidential voter turnout total in November. The 2008 election brought out 73.8 percent of Alabama's voters.

"We had 1.2 million people participate in the primary, that's the highest vote total for a primary in this state for a presidential or gubernatorial vote," Merrill said.

This will be the first presidential election that requires a photo ID. Merrill's office is ready to assist, and will even travel for those who don't have transportation.

"Anyone who needs a photo ID, if they don't have one, they can call our office 334-343-7200 and if we need to go to their house to produce a photo ID of them, we will," stated Merrill. "We have done that for other constituents throughout the state."

New technology is also making it easier to vote. The Secretary of State's Office has a free app that will allow anyone with a valid Alabama Driver's License to register to vote or voters to update their information.

Oct 24 is the last day to register for the November election.

Merrill cautions voters not to forget the 14 state-wide amendments on the ballot, along with simple voting procedures.

"One of the things that continues to confuse people each time there's a general election, can I vote for Republicans and Democrats?" Merrill said. 
"Of course you can. You can mark the straight ticket Democrat vote, and then vote the Republicans of your choice and your vote will still count for all the candidates you marked."

All voters can click here to confirm their polling location and view their local ballot.

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