County voter turnout exceeds state average

Published 2:37 pm Thursday, June 19, 2014

Various establishments saw a bit more business than usual earlier this month as 3,403 Crenshaw County voters trickled in to cast their ballots.
That number only accounts for about 36 percent of an estimated 9,500 total registered voters across the county.
But for an added bit of perspective, it’s still far higher than the dismal 21 percent state average, which is the lowest number of statewide votes tallied in the last 16 years according to data from the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
Probate Judge Jim Perdue attributes last Tuesday’s relative interest here in Crenshaw County to a number of factors, including a highly-competitive sheriff race and three active commission races.
“Statewide, it was less than 25 percent, so I expected ours to be a little better because of the various races, but not a whole lot better,” Perdue said.
“The governor’s race and others at the top of the ballot were pretty much decided.  The races that weren’t decided were local or our house district, and if it’s something at the top and the bottom of the ballot—from the president and governor down to the commission— then you have a very good turnout.  But in this case, it was just the bottom of the ballot that drew interest.”
In contrast to the less-than-desirable turnout, Perdue said that the election process itself was smooth sailing.
And though Perdue’s own candidacy for the Secretary of State seat didn’t afford him very many opportunities to oversee the entire election process as usual, it was left in good hands.
“We had very little problems, except for normal glitches, but nothing really that was of any consequence,” Perdue said.
“Our poll workers are trained less than a week prior to it, and they’re accustomed to doing it.  The poll workers are the key to this, and they did their job.”
Perdue added that there was very little that could be done about the noncompetitive nature of the races located at the top of the ballot—especially the governor’s race, in which Gov. Robert Bentley’s landslide victory saw an estimated 91 percent of the vote.
And though the bottom of the ballot was a different matter entirely, Perdue said that there is more to be done to spur voter interest.
“In both Republican and Democrat primaries, we had interest—actually more Republican than Democrat, which is unusual for Crenshaw County,” Perdue said.
“How do you get people to vote?  They’ve got to be interested.  And I don’t think that the interest in this race was as high as it should’ve been.”