Officials expect runoff turnout to be low

Published 4:29 pm Thursday, July 8, 2010

With the Alabama primary runoffs coming up on Tuesday, Probate Judge Steve Norman says he doesn’t expect a strong turnout.

“Not as many people are interested in the runoffs as they are in the primaries,” Norman said.

Norman used voters who came out for Tim James to try to explain why turnout is low.

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“We had 1800 people vote in the Republican primary when we had Tim James,” Norman said. “I am sure some of them will return, but not all of them are going to come back.”

The runoff between Attorney General hopefuls James Anderson and Giles Perkins will be the sole item on the Democratic ballots.

On the Republican ballot, however, voters have four pairs of candidates to decide between. For Governor, Robert Bentley and Bradley Byrne are each vying for Alabama’s top post. Voters will choose between Rick Barber and Martha Roby for United States Representative, 2nd Congressional District. The position of state Commissioner of Agriculture and business is up for grabs, with both Dorman Grace and John McMillan throwing their name in the hat. Twinkle Cavanaugh and Stephen Evans will battle it out to decide who will hold place one for the Public Service Commission.

Although voters who voted in the Republican primary are technically not allowed to participate in the Democratic runoff, Norman explained that this law seldom comes into play.

“Alabama law allows parties to make up their own rules,” Norman said. “Democrats don’t allow crossover voters in the runoff.”

Norman elaborated.

“That being said, if you voted in the Republican primary and you show up to vote Democrat Tuesday, we are going to give you a ballot and let you vote,” Norman said. “It isn’t our responsibility to enforced this rule.”

In the event that an election is contested, however, Norman said these votes could be thrown out.