Officials predict higher than normal voter turnout in November

Voter interest in upcoming election

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - We wanted to know if the voters of Alabama will be more apathetic this time around, given all that voters have been through since the controversy surrounding former Governor Robert Bentley last year.

“Oh I think there’s a great deal of voter fatigue,” says John Merrill.

Voter fatigue, but not voter apathy. Far from it, in fact.

“Those people that were a little complacent have been motivated again because of the politics that’s been played in Washington.”

Politics like the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. No matter what side of the conversation you’re on, officials say it’s the driving force pushing people to the polls.

“There have been so many events to cause people to be galvanized around one party or the other,” says UAB Political Science professor Angela Lewis.

They believe those events will lead to a higher than normal voter turnout, especially for a midterm election.

“We anticipate the turnout to be somewhere between 35 and 40 percent,” says Merrill.

If the numbers are closer to 40%, that’s more voters than we saw in the Doug Jones-Roy Moore general election. Still, that could change.

“But, at the same time there are a lot of external factors that play into it. What’s the weather going to be like that day, will we see more ads from the gubernatorial candidates? What will happen in the next month? We just kind of have to wait and see,” says Lewis.

Probably the closest we as a state have come to 100% voter turnout was November 8, 2016 when 72% of the population voted. Merrill says there are over 3.4 million registered voters in Alabama.

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