Alabama will spend $3 million to conduct Tuesday's runoff election that's expected to attract only one-fifth of the state's registered voters. That works out to more than $6 per voter. The state's top election official, Secretary of State Jim Bennett, predicts the turnout will be about 20%. Turnout for the June Fourth primary was 34%.
The runoff is for races where one candidate didn't get at least one vote over 50% in the primary. Bennett predicts the heaviest turnout will be on the Democratic side, which has a runoff for the U.S. Senate between State Auditor Susan Parker and Montgomery attorney Julian McPhillips, as well as runoffs in the First and Seventh Congressional Districts.
The Republicans also have a runoff in the First District, and both parties have runoffs for state auditor, treasurer and secretary of state. Bennett's office estimates the election will cost $3 million dollars to stage, with the cost shared by the state and county governments. If Bennett's prediction of a light turnout is correct and about 460,000 of Alabama's 2.3 million registered voters show up, the cost will work out to more than $6 per voter.