Voter turnout lowest in 16 years

Published 1:08 pm Friday, June 6, 2014

Voter turnout for Alabama’s primary election Tuesday was the lowest it’s been in nearly two decades.

According to figures released by the Alabama Secretary, about 613,000 Alabamians voted in the governor’s race, which is the fewest votes tallied in the last 16 years.

Statewide just 21 percent of registered voters took part in the primary. In the last four primaries, the voter turnout has been closer to 34 percent.

Butler County’s turnout for Tuesday’s primary elections was closer to 36 percent.

“We would all like to see greater participation, but I can’t say I was surprised by the turnout,” Butler County Probate Judge Steve Norman said.

On the local level, 4,724 ballots were cast. Of those 3,063 were cast in the Democratic primary and 1,661 were cast in the Republican primary.

The election was the first for Butler County using its new voting machines, and Norman said things went smoothly.

“We had two of the 27 machines used that day to simply not power up that morning and were able to get them replaced with spares fairly quickly —one before the polls opened, and one shortly after,” he said.  “Another would not take ballots, and it was repaired by mid afternoon. That was at Dunbar and there are two machines at that location.

“For the most part it was a very typical election day.”