Expert discusses what will drive Alabama voters

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 9:40 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2022 at 10:15 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Up to 1.84 million Alabamians are expected to vote in the Nov. 8 election.

“We know that some people believe that it’s more important to vote in the general election than it is to select the nominees for each part,” said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

About 51,000 absentee ballots have been returned, and around 50% of registered voters are expected to vote in person.

One Alabama educator said many Republicans will be heading to the polls for economic reasons.

“Folks who identify as Republican are most worried about inflation,” said Peter Jones, a public policy assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “About 54% of people in a recent Marist Poll said that that was their top issue.”

He said Democratic voters have shifted their top priority.

“It’s been abortion for several weeks, really preserving women’s reproductive rights, but more recently, preserving democracy,” Jones said.

For the first time in 20 years, Libertarians have statewide ballot access, meaning the party could influence future legislation.

Regardless of how people vote, Jones stressed a big concern is election integrity. People have dwindling confidence in fair and accurate elections.

“We’re seeing less and less confidence across both parties, though Republicans tend to be less confident than Democrats,” Jones said.

Those concerns are unwarranted, as the secretary of state assures the public their votes are secure.

“We have continued to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat in Alabama,” Merrill said.

After state leaders are elected Tuesday, they will have to move fast to collectively figure out what their priorities are for the upcoming legislative session.

Legislators will be able to start filing their bills in January ahead of the session that starts in March.

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